Springfield Public Schools tries to grow local teachers

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Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 7:43 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield Public Schools is taking the teacher shortage head-on with a new program to keep teachers local after they finish school.

Anne Miller, an incoming teacher for SPS, said she is excited to start.

“If you have 25 students in your classroom, there are 26 scholars in that room, and so you’re all collaborating together, and they’re teaching me just as much as or probably more than I’m teaching them,” said Miller.

The teacher shortage is hitting many districts in Missouri hard, but help is on the way.

Miller, a mother, and a Springfield native, said she always had the teaching bug.

“I was always the kid that wanted to play school,” said Miller

Miller recently graduated from Missouri State University’s education program and SPS coordinator of professional learning, Alicia Moore, said their relationship between local colleges is critical in getting new teachers to stay local.

“Those who student teach with us, understand the culture, understand what the expectations are, and that’s always beneficial in order to be able to jump in and be ready to go,” said Moore

MSU educators Dr. Chloe Bolyard, and Dr. Amber Howard, said they have many programs with SPS, with student teaching, and one starting next fall called the future educators program, which helps introduce teaching to students beginning in high school.

“We need teachers who understand what the students in this area have experienced and what they go through,” said Bolyard.

“You can better meet their needs, you can better be their teacher, you can better understand their family and their community and everything, so building those relationships is most important for sure,” said Howard.

Moore said they are introducing around 100 new teachers to their schools, and Miller is ecstatic to be one of them.

“I want to give to my students is that ability to be a lifelong learner, to go out and be an engaged citizen, and to understand their worth,” said Miller.

Miller encourages others to stay in the area to grow Springfield.

“It doesn’t just stop at your school, it doesn’t just stop at your state, it’s globally,” said Miller.

Moore said SPS processed 230 new and experienced teachers this fall and hopes to get more in the coming months.

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