On January 14th, MCE held Colorado’s first and only public screening of the documentary “TEACH”. Over 200 educators and community leaders participated in the event which concluded with a panel discussion hosted by MCE Faculty member Paul Michalec, PhD, Program Coordinator and Clinical Professor for the Curriculum Studies and Teaching program.
Four of the Denver teachers and building leaders featured in the film were invited to be part of the panel, including Matt Johnson, MCE alum from the Denver Teacher Residency Program. During the discussion, Michalec quoted a stunning statistic that over 50 percent of new teachers will leave the education field within five years of beginning their careers. Why would teachers continue to teach despite an overwhelming number of obstacles stacked against them? Johnson, teacher at McGlone Elementary, explained that the students are his reason for continuing, a sentiment echoed by others. Lyndsay Young, teacher at MLK Early College, expressed that many students have never known a high school graduate and need a constant driving force in order to succeed. She saw herself as that force.
Carrie Morgridge, of the Morgridge Family Foundation, asked the panel, “What can [we]…do to help improve the system for you?” The panel’s overwhelming response was that teachers could be better prepared for these struggles if colleges of education provided more opportunities for their students to gain hands-on experience. “We need more forums between professors, teachers, and working practitioners,” said Suzanne Morey, Principal at McGlone Elementary School.
The event was featured in the DU Clarion. MCE will continue to drive critical conversations about teaching and teachers. Stay tuned for more events and opportunities to engage.