Local universities are saying that the COVID-19 pandemic could impact the number of students interested in teaching.
Melinda Jack is on her sixth and final year at Ferris State University, studying to be a secondary education teacher. However, she almost didn’t want to student teach this semester due to the pandemic.
“I was just like, man, I’m not going to have the same experience that I thought I would,” Jack says.
Liza Ing, director of the School of Education at Ferris State, says the pandemic may impact the number of students wanting to become teachers in the future.
“I don’t think that the students are fearful to becoming a teacher, their fearful of the environment that they’re going into,” Ing says.
There was already a shortage of teachers Before the pandemic. Now Ing is worried that shortage could get even worse.
“If this is your passion, please stick with it, it is a wonderful field to go into and I think we need people to be willing to do,” Ing says,
Jillian Davidson, director of clinical experiences at Central Michigan University, says teachers are needed now more than ever.
“I think what the pandemic has really demonstrated for our teacher candidates is the importance of educators and what educators are going to do for children and their families,” Davidson says.
Jack says she’s happy that she decided to continue student teaching, even if it’s seeing kids’ faces though a mask.
“It’s just very rewarding regardless of the pandemic and even more so with the pandemic,” Jack says. “It just makes why I went into this like so much relevant of being able to impact these kids.”