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Georgia Southern hosts Future Georgia Educators Day

Savannah Early College High School pose with Georgia Southern's official mascot GUS at FGE Day.

Students from Savannah Early College High School pose with Georgia Southern’s official mascot GUS at FGE Day.

On Wednesday, September 28 over 200 high school students from across the state gathered to participate in Future Georgia Educators Day (FGE Day). Hosted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and Georgia Southern University’s College of Education, this event provides students with an opportunity to learn about the education profession while enjoying the college environment.

PAGE College Services Representative Mary Ruth Ray explained the importance of FGE Day in terms of the shortage of public school teachers that the state is facing.

“There are 500 to 600 openings for teachers in the state of Georgia right now,” Ray said. “Think about that, however, in the terms of how many students are without a teacher. If there are 20 to 30 students in each classroom—there are a large number of students being underserved without properly trained teachers to fill these positions.”

FGE Day provides students with the opportunity to visit a college campus and consider their next steps in the education profession. During the opening assembly, participants were addressed by Ebenezer Middle School teacher Heather Cocke, a finalist for 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Cocke explained that being a teacher often involves taking on various other roles to satisfy the needs of your students. She compared her daily tasks to that of a nurse, judge, motivational speaker, entertainer, celebrity, public relations specialist, interior designer, and therapist.

“I promise teaching will never be boring,” Cocke said.

The visiting high school students also participated in workshops that discussed the various areas of educational professions as well as topics that are important within education such as diversity, STEM, technology, and the arts.

For many of the participants, this event was an opportunity to understand what the education profession can offer, as many are still trying to decide what they would like to do in the future.

Savannah Early College High School student C’Asia Griffin expressed that she was interested in both teaching and operating a day care facility. “I just know that I love working with younger children because you can see the potential for their futures,” Griffin said.

Jace Landon of Wayne County High School explained that both his aunts are teachers and have been a great influence on him. One of his aunts in particular works with special education in Wayne County. “Seeing how she could help her students has made me want to help kids find who they are meant to be in life,” said Landon.

Those participating in Georgia Southern’s FGE Day included students from the Bradwell Institute, Burke County High School, Fannin County High School, LaGrange High School, Liberty County High School, Metter High School, Savannah Early College High School, Screven County High School, Statesboro High School, Toombs County High School, and Wayne County High School.

Sponsored by PAGE, Future Georgia Educators Day is an annual event hosted at various partner colleges across the state.

Check out photos from Georgia Southern’s FGE Day on our Facebook page!


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