Alaska high school students explore education careers
April 13, 2018
More than 70 Alaska high school students from 13 districts gathered in Fairbanks on March 25-26 to explore education careers and develop leadership skills.
The 2018 Educators Rising Alaska State Conference, held on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, featured mock interview and resume-writing sessions, a tour of the campus, and activity and information sessions with UAF's Rural Student Services and School of Education.
“Everything was very helpful,” Beulah Boyscout, a high school junior from Chevak, said with a smile.
For Alexandria O’Hara of Kotzebue, who went to the national conference last year, the resume-writing workshop was “constructive and the best part of the conference.” During the workshop, each student worked on writing a clean, convincing resume.
Sarah Wade, a freshman from Nome, said she liked the mock interview sessions. Students in small groups learned about what to expect, some strategies to cope with difficult situations and how to make the best of an interview.
Guest speakers offered perspectives from different stages of an education career. Educators Rising Alaska 2017 student president Amanda Friendshuh, an education major at the University of Alaska Southeast, gave a passionate speech about why you teach.
“You really do make a difference. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true,” she said. “You have more power than you believe. Go out and get it.”
Ben Walker, an Anchorage middle school teacher and recipient of the 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year Award, emphasized the importance of finding joy in what you do, taking a risk and embracing failure, and being open to feedback and criticisms. “Teaching is a great profession, because every day is different and every kid is different,” he said.
The conference was well received by the accompanying teachers as well. Giaana Peterson, who chaperoned students from the Bering Strait School District, thought the “EdRising Conference was really great.”
“Our students often get to know students from other schools through sports events, but it is rare for them to have a chance to meet others through academic activities,” she said. “I am very grateful my students had the opportunity to interact with others who share the same interests and goals as they have. This conference is an investment in our students, including those from rural Alaska who may pursue a career in education someday.”
The conference was organized by Educators Rising Alaska in collaboration with the UAF School of Education and Rural Student Services.
The national Educators Rising organization helps high school students explore careers in teaching. Fewer than half of Alaska’s teachers are prepared in-state, so Educators Rising Alaska (formerly Future Educators of Alaska) gives Alaska high school students ways to explore education careers and provides their mentors with professional development.
ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Barbara Wadlinger, Educators Rising Alaska program manager, 907-450-8379, email@example.com.