Kansas Future Teacher Academy works to address teacher shortage

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EMPORIA, Kan. (KAKE) – The Kansas Future Teacher Academy is welcoming 60 students from 40 Kansas high schools to Emporia State University this week.

This year’s program runs from June 5-9. Carley Bell, a student at Maize High School, is present.

“I love learning where the teaching has been and where it’s going, so it’s been a really cool experience,” Bell said.

Kansas Future Teacher Academy principal Todd Roberts is leading the event for the first time. He said it’s the biggest band he’s ever seen. Usually there are only 25-30 students.

“Being a teacher isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of the most rewarding professions you can have,” Roberts said. “You can impact someone’s life, and it can change the trajectory of their life.”

Roberts said the program is now open to high school students who have at least completed their freshman year and who did not graduate in Kansas. He said his goal was to keep growing in the hope that this would help address the current teacher shortage.

“It’s only going to get wider as more and more people retire,” he said. “There’s COVID burnout and just teaching, but we also have fewer teachers going out into the field.”

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