Missouri State University began the Future Educators program in fall 2022, with seven students in the first cohort.
Since then, two of the seven students began teaching in Springfield Public Schools (SPS). Plus, five students joined the program’s second cohort.
Future Educators paves a path for students to become teachers and helps bring quality teachers to SPS.
Two start their teaching journey
This fall, Sam Johnson and Drew Irwin started teaching full time in Springfield, Missouri.
Johnson graduated from MSU in spring 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She teaches kindergarten at Bingham Elementary.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Johnson chose to stay in Springfield to teach thanks to the Future Educators program.
Irwin is a post-baccalaureate student pursuing teaching certification and a master’s degree in elementary education. He plans to complete teacher certification requirements in December 2023 and hopes to finish his master’s degree by 2027.
To fulfill his student teaching requirement, Irwin is the teacher of record for fourth grade at Twain Elementary, where his daughter attended and his son currently attends.
“The Future Educators program boosted my skills and confidence as an educator through real-world training and guest presenters,” Irwin said.
“I knew going into my first year of teaching there would be bumps along the way, but I’m able to take risks and put my full self into it knowing I have so much support from Twain, MSU and SPS.”
Five more commit to teach local
In August 2023, five students signed into the second Future Educators cohort.
Megan Bolen, Aleila Cage, Malina Carnelison, Susan Cha and Symphony Darville will complete education programs at Missouri State, then teach in Springfield.
Bolen found the program has already helped her grow as a future teacher.
“The Future Educators program has been a great way for me to gain practical knowledge about education,” Bolen said. “I’ve been surrounded by like-minded students, educators and experts who have helped me explore new teaching opportunities.”
Cha shared the program has helped her build meaningful relationships.
“The program has allowed me to make connections within the Springfield School District for future employment, as well as new friendships where we can learn about the best teaching practices together,” Cha said.
To Darville, the Future Educators program is a way to help improve representation for her community.
“I only had one teacher of color in my 13 years of schooling in the SPS school system. The opportunity to be able to go back into my own community and be that representation for students as a Black woman is very special to me,” Darville said.
About Future Educators
The Future Educators program helps students from underrepresented and under-resourced backgrounds become educators.
Future Educators participants complete a program in education at Missouri State. Upon graduation, they will begin their teaching career in SPS.
They receive financial aid, mentor support and additional teacher training.