Georgia Gwinnett College revitalizes Future Georgia Educator days

By Collin Elder

Because teacher shortages are widespread in Gwinnett County and across the nation, schools are doing more to attract students to the profession. To that end, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) has partnered with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) to be part of the solution to remedy that problem with their Future Georgia Educators (FGE) days.

The events held throughout the University System of Georgia’s campuses offer a snapshot of what it’s like to be a teacher. Events offer a day trip for high school juniors and seniors on track to be educators that provide a look into the relationships they will form in a classroom, and different teaching styles that might fit with their own.

GGC’s most recent FGE day brought students from Walton County into classrooms for hour-long breakout sessions where students talked with GGC faculty who shared the joys of teaching.

The event attracted more than 40 students from Walnut Grove and Loganville high schools.

“GGC is excited to bring back the event after a hiatus,” said Dr. Amy Farah, associate professor of teacher education and one of the event’s organizers. “We hope this program will impact prospective students positively, and the effects will trickle down from there.”

Farah isn’t alone in her hopes for the event. Dr. Kristi Amatucci, associate professor of literacy education and interim associate dean for the School of Education, said she thinks the event will be a huge addition to recruitment efforts.

“We want students to want to come to GGC because of our programs.” said Amatucci. “We hope giving them the ‘lowdown’ on our education program and our strong partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools will convince them to give us a shot.”

Several seniors in the School of Education held a panel to answer questions from the audience.

Loganville High School senior Eve Briscoe, 17, said that she’s interested in the personal relationships that teachers cultivate with students.

“GGC’s event so far has done a great job of getting that information we need as future educators into our hands,” said Briscoe, who indicated that GGC is high on the list of schools she’ll consider post-graduation. “The topics in our breakout sessions, focusing on putting the idea of choice into the students’ hands, really spoke to me. I can’t wait to get into a classroom of my own.”

PAGE and GGC are set to hold more FGE days in the future.

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