Educators Rising: how Neuqua is inspiring a new wave of young teachers


Photo of Educators Rising club members taken from the club’s twitter @feanvhs.

Allison Blaszak, Staff Writer

Educators Rising, formerly known as Future Educators of America, is a club that is designed to help students who are aspiring teachers explore the field. This club is partnered with the local Aurora University in order to provide the best experience for students. 

This is a student-led club and has meetings every other Wednesday in room B103 at Main Campus. During these meetings, students are able to explore teaching levels ranging from Preschool to College. They learn how to construct lesson plans while also getting teaching practice. 

Students in the club are able to apply for an internship with a teacher in our district to work with them 1-3 times a week over a semester or a year. They go right after school to elementary schools to work with the kids, then work with the teachers once school is let out. Educators Rising also offers a day for students to shadow teachers. Shadowing is when students get a day of observing teachers in a classroom setting, which is helpful for students who can not dedicate as much time after school. For this shadow day, the student would have an excused absence and for the whole day, they would observe one teacher in the district’s classroom. 

Along with internships, Educators Rising is partnered with Aurora University who provides many opportunities for the club. One opportunity is for club members to learn more leadership skills in August at the university itself where they participate in team-building and hands-on activities. There is also a Fall Kick-Off where students attend all day to see speakers, including  Illinois Teacher of the Year winners. This year’s Fall Kick-Off takes place Oct. 10 at Aurora College. 

While the club members are learning to teach, they also are giving back to those who already do. During teacher appreciation week, Educators Rising takes the time to make cute little candy baggies for all the Neuqua teachers, giving them out during that week. Todd Mertz, the club’s co-sponsor along with Megan Jenson, explains that this can be time-consuming yet worth it in the end.

 While the club has been running smoothing throughout all these years, the sponsors also have goals for the future.  Mertz explains that he would like the club to be “even more student-led and really have the kids totally take over the club and completely run it.” He also explains how he would like the club to reach a broader audience at Neuqua. The club isn’t just for people who know they want to teach or those who would like to see if this could be a possible career path for them.

Educator Rising is open to all grades at Neuqua Valley and does not require any prerequisites before joining. There are many opportunities for those who are possibly interested in teaching, allowing students to really see if this is what they would like to do with their future. If you are interested in this club, they have meetings in room B103 at the Main Campus every other Wednesday at 6:45 a.m in room B103.