Two hundred Missouri high school students competed in the Educators Rising State Conference Wednesday.
Educators Rising provides a clear pathway in every school district in America for young people who want to serve their communities as highly skilled educators, according to its mission statement.
The organization hosts statewide competitions in 36 states which culminates in a national conference -- the best of the two hundred Missourians will go to nationals.
There are 22 categories the students can compete in. According to the Educators Rising website, the categories include presenting a topic on children's literature, giving a presentation on Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED), lesson planning/delivery and public speaking. According to Cael McCullah, a competitor from Bolivar, Missouri, there's also a children's book category in which students make an illustrated book and present its learning goal.
Students from Bolivar agreed that the competition "is good for us," despite its first year offering at Bolivar High School.
The Bolivar students included: Percilla Gray, who is presenting on "ethical dilemma," a speech that will answer the appropriate means for a troubled child to talk with teachers outside of social media; and Cael McCullah and Rachel Marsh. The latter group made an illustrated book titled, "Saving the Summer Parade."
From the keynote speaker who is the Missouri Teacher of the Year, Christina Andrade Melly, "getting close to people and curious about the problems they encounter will help them become their best and happiest teaching selves."
The competition allows students to explore what education means to them. For Gray, it is simply to "encourage students in life." For Marsh, it is to "see them develop as little people." And, for McCullah, it's a message to spread the idea that "everyone deserves someone who loves them."