Aspiring educators gather from across the state to learn, grow and collaborate

Contact: Chris Hybels

KALAMAZOO, Mich.— The Aspiring Educators of Michigan (AEM) at Western Michigan University recently hosted their annual, "So, you want to be a Teacher" workshop to introduce students to the field of teaching. On April 8, attendees had the opportunity to listen and learn from speakers as they shared information about the job market for teachers and how to stand-out when applying for positions.

“AEM at WMU is a place where aspiring educators can gather and grow," explained Collin Holzberger, president of AEM at WMU. "This event helps create a community of current and future teachers that uplift, support, and mentor each other as they enter into the field of teaching.”

The event started with a keynote address from Dr. Brianne Pitts, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies. She led team building activities before introducing speakers to attendees.

"I left with a strong conviction that AEM at WMU and their colleagues are part of the change we wish to see in the world," says Pitts. "I am already looking forward to next year's event, and can't wait to have these students in my classes."

Speakers included alumni, faculty and friends of AEM from all over the country, including Annette Christensen, a uniserv consultant professional organizer from the Michigan Education Association. Christensen introduced attendees to the work the teachers union does to support and uplift current, past, and future teachers.

Other featured speakers included Debbie Schuitema, the director of new teacher development for Kentwood Public Schools, she discussed how to write professional resumes and how to prepare for interviews. She also told students about the current need for teachers as the state of Michigan is suffering from one of the largest teacher shortages in state history.

“This workshop was what I needed to solidify my choice in working toward becoming an educator. It was great to be gifted with so much new information while making new friends along the way,” says Mickenzie Atkins, a secondary education student at Grand Valley State University.

Students were also given the chance to ask questions to current teachers of all education levels about their professions and career pathways. There was also the opportunity for students to network with representatives of school districts in the area, something the organization is trying to include more of in 2024.

"With the college no longer having a teacher education career fair, we would like to make the event an opportunity for school districts in the state of Michigan to recruit passionate and aspiring educators here at WMU," says Holzberger.

About aspiring educators of michigan at wmu

The Aspiring Educators of Michigan is a preprofessional organization for people preparing for the teaching profession in any of the higher education institutions in Michigan and who are not regularly employed as educators by an educational institution or agency. Local chapters at Michigan campuses improve networking amongst aspiring educators and expose members to professional learning opportunities and service projects that help prepare college students for fulfilling careers in education.

If you are interested in joining AEM at WMU or want to be added to the 2024 “So, you want to be a Teacher?” mailing list, contact Allison Beasley.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.