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Doing for a day: UW-Stout Teach Day gives high school students a glimpse of possible career path

Interest in teaching brings 94 of them to campus to learn about School of Education’s seven undergraduate programs


By Jerry Poling, UW Stout


High school students who attended Teach Day at University of Wisconsin-Stout learned quickly that the teaching profession, like the university’s other majors, is about doing.


Soon after arriving, the 94 students from 11 regional high schools were working on hands-on projects such as designing a billboard, writing a multigrade lesson plan and creating a public service announcement. UW-Stout’s slogan Do More on Day One reflecting the applied learning focus became Do for One Day.


“Students got a taste of teaching and heard from UW-Stout students what it’s like,” said Deanna Schultz, associate dean and School of Education director. “There’s such a huge need for teachers, a desperate need for fully licensed teachers. Teach Day helps build the teacher pipeline.



“It’s a fun day. We’ve had students who leave saying, “I can see myself at Stout,’” Schultz said of the biannual event that began three years ago.


In family and consumer sciences education, students were guided through a project by Professor Diane Klemme and several of her students. The visitors created two small Valentine’s Day candy boxes out of paper, one for residents of Our House Senior Living in Menomonie and one to give to a friend.


“We were hoping to show students the important skill of doing demonstrations in the classroom. Family and consumer sciences is a hands-on program, and future teachers will need to be able to do demonstrations in a classroom. We also wanted to connect service learning and giving back to the community,” Klemme said.



In technology education, students created a public service announcement. “This allowed them to know what it was like doing a project as a teacher,” Instructor Barb Bauer said. “It also allowed them to work with other disciplines to help them understand we all have the same goals as teachers.”


In early childhood education, students made little “critters” out of craft materials and discussed lesson plans for how the animals could be used to teach children from prekindergarten to second grade.


They also visited the Child and Family Study Center and observed teachers working with infants and toddlers. Kennedy Reckmann, a junior from Lake City, Minn., an early childhood education major, led one of the tours to observation rooms.



Reckmann explained how she and other UW-Stout students use the rooms to “get an open view of what children are actually doing.” She is completing her prestudent teaching this semester with 4-year-olds at the center.


From 15 to 20 UW-Stout students in education programs supported Teach Day by leading interactive sessions.


Teachers and advisers accompanied the high school contingents, including Amanda Van Oosten, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Wausau West High School. She brought 24 students who were interested in a variety of teaching programs.


“Students have really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the day, hearing from some of the Stout students and getting a real feel for the campus,” Van Oosten said.


“They get to see other students interested in what they’re interested in and put a face to the major,” she added.


Van Oosten teaches an Aspiring Educators class, in which students can dual-enroll and earn college credit at Northcentral Technical College. She also helps with the student chapter of Educators Rising.


Seven undergraduate teaching programs


Students were greeted by and received an overview of the day from Schultz and Professor Debbie Stanislawski. They also met with directors of the seven education undergraduate programs:


  • Seth Dutter, applied mathematics and computer science, with a math education concentration

  • Ann Carlisle, art education

  • Lindsay Barnhart, early childhood education

  • Klemme, family and consumer sciences education

  • Stanislawski, marketing and business education

  • Kevin Mason, special education

  • Bauer, technology education

Along with the Bachelor of Science programs, UW-Stout offers five graduate programs in education, five certificates and three certifications.


Teach Day drew mostly juniors and seniors. School districts represented were: Altoona, Augusta, Cameron, Chippewa Falls, Elk River, Minn., Gilmanton, Greenwood, La Crosse Logan, Loyal, River Falls and Wausau West.



Holly Vang, a senior from Wausau West, attended Teach Day for early childhood education in part because she is taking a Young Adult Education course and sees herself someday interacting with young children in her career in a teaching-related field.


“I see that teaching the next generation is very important. I really have respect for people who teach,” said Vang.


The day wrapped up with nine UW-Stout education majors answering questions from the high school students about life as a student at UW-Stout. They talked about the hands-on nature of the programs, opportunities to get involved on campus, small class sizes, close connections to professors, the convenience of campus and flexible class schedules compared to high school.


Along with the School of Education, Teach Day was supported by Enrollment and Strategic Initiatives, the Admissions Office, and Continuing Education and Conferences.


UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes. Learn more via the FOCUS2030 strategic plan.

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