Future Teacher Conference Helps Continue UNC’s Legacy as a Teacher’s College

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Students sit in groups while listening to keynote speaker Steve Spangler in the UC Ballrooms.

Since its founding as a teacher’s college in 1889, the University of Northern Colorado consistently has one of the best teacher education programs in Colorado. In fact, more than a quarter of all teachers who win the Colorado Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Award graduated from UNC.

Thomspon School District middle school teacher, Jessica May, just became the 18th UNC alum to be named “Teacher of the Year” in Colorado.

One way the university continues to produce great teachers is by giving teacher education students the opportunity to attend the annual Future Teacher Conference. The free conference took place Feb. 2 and offered students several presentations and workshops related to teaching.

These presentations and workshops were run by pre-service teachers, early career teachers, veteran educators and UNC faculty which gave students an idea of what their careers might look like as they advance through UNC’s teacher education program.

The program included information on a variety of subjects students may be interested in such as early childhood education, art education, urban and rural education, sports and exercise science education and special education.

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This year, Emmy award winning science teacher Steve Spangler also spoke to students about ways to become a successful educator and how to engage students in exciting ways. Spangler has become well known for his unique scientific demonstrations as seen on popular tv shows like “The Ellen Show”.

For the first time in the conference’s history, two $1,000 scholarships were given to two full-time undergraduate teacher education students enrolled at UNC. Ebony Odom, a senior at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs, and Poudre High School senior Katy Riley were the two students selected for the scholarships.

Newly enrolled UNC teacher education students were also given the opportunity to take a campus tour led by student ambassadors.

UNC started out as Colorado’s Teacher College 130 years ago and with programs like the Future Teacher Conference consistently providing valuable information to students, it seems like it will continue to be a premiere destination for aspiring teachers.

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