The scoop on education

Ann Epstein holding up a sheet of paper and talking to people.High school students had the opportunity to connect with UWL education students and faculty during School of Education Day. Here Ann Epstein, UWL associate professor of educational studies, talks with students.

Education major motivated to work with children, to be ‘someone in their corner’

UW-La Crosse education major Keri Hetzel says her reason for entering the teaching profession has nothing to do with the politics of the day or her potential future salary.

“Every time I hear from educators and see what they are doing in their classrooms, it motivates me,” says Hetzel. “I see, as teachers, we are there for kids. We are trying to be someone in their corner — someone they know is fighting for them.”

Keri Hetzel speaking to a group of people during School of Education Day.

Keri Hetzel, a UWL education major, wants to teach 7th or 8th grade English after her anticipated May 2019 graduation.

Hetzel, who is also president of UWL’s chapter of Aspiring Educators of Wisconsin, told a group of area high school students about her motivations for entering the profession as part of the annual School of Education Day events at UWL on Friday, March 2.

During the day, high school students in grades 10-12 had a campus tour and hands-on experiences alongside current education faculty and students in classrooms in Elementary, Secondary, PE/Health and Art. They’ll also had opportunities to talk with UWL education students and faculty during a lunch and ice cream social.

Hetzel, who has wanted to teach since she was in middle school, is well on her way. She wants to teach 7th or 8th grade English after her anticipated May 2019 graduation.

“I’ve learned so much already about all of the things that play into teaching,” says Hetzel. “It’s so much more than knowing your content.”

For example, Hetzel is learning about creating a better learning environment through classroom management, developing a teaching philosophy, being culturally responsive, and seeing kids as people and not just as students, she says.

Other members of UWL’s chapter of Aspiring Educators of Wisconsin helped guide high school students throughout the day and shared their experiences about the teacher education programs.

UWL School of Education and Admissions staff helped coordinate this year’s School of Education Day events, including: Mai Chao Duddeck, Jill Sweetman, Jill Kirkpatrick, Ashley Cree, Lindsey Butts, Corey Sjoquist, faculty members and others.

Numbers rise

While many institutions that offer teacher preparation programs across the nation are experiencing a drop in numbers by 30-50 percent, UWL enrollment has remained steady. Enrollment has increased over the last three years.

headshot image of Mai Chao Duddeck.

Mai Chao Duddeck, ’06, ’08,

New multicultural advisor/recruiter

Mai Chao Duddeck, ’06, ’08, became the UWL School of Education’s new multicultural advisor and recruiter in December 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in art education and master’s in education. Duddeck is an author, artist and educator. Prior to UWL, she taught middle and high school art in the La Crosse School District.