School bells will soon be ringing and the president of the Nebraska State Education Association is touring classrooms across the state.
During a stop in North Platte, Jenni Benson talked about efforts to launch a non-profit group to keep the educators in the state and to better develop the educators who work with our children daily.
“We started a new 501(c)(3) this past year to help with professional development, to look at the whole child and also the whole teacher,” Benson says. “We’re doing some things with kids who are struggling. We need some support systems in place to help them.”
Classroom safety is a concern of parents and residents throughout the state, and Benson stresses educators are also concerned.
“Our teachers are also our family members, they have kids in school as well or grandkids, like myself, I have seven grandkids,” Benson says. “We are concerned about the safety and security of our students, of our faculty.”
Benson says it’s vital to provide younger generations with tools outside of the classroom, whether that’s through established programs like FFA or Skills USA, or a relatively new program called Educator Rising.
“(That’s for) kids in high school saying, ‘Hey, maybe I want to be a teacher,’ and we have a lot of programs across the state,” Benson says. “It’s now a club through the Department of Ed and we have 38 chapters in Nebraska. Some of these schools are having trouble hiring teachers but why not grow your own?”
The NSEA is a union representing some 28,000 educators across Nebraska.
Thanks to Tristen Winder, KODY, North Platte