December 15, 2022
Teachers in STEM: Full-Time Heroes & an Endangered Species
Sustainability and climate education have needed substantial, systemic improvement for some time now. But without teachers with feet on the ground (and sometimes, with smiling faces on Zoom calls), classroom studies would grind to a halt. Looking back over the past few years, it’s no secret that the U.S. is facing a shortage of STEM teachers, with schools nationwide reporting a continuous struggle to find and maintain qualified STEM professionals. With test scores in the realms of math and science on the decline and jobs in tech and medicine growing faster than ever, it’s critical that we address the dire need for more STEM educators.
Recruitment and certification programs for teachers in STEM fields have long grappled with this issue. Teachers in public schools have continued to face mounting challenges as our public education system struggles to meet the complexity of our present moment. Broader issues like the pandemic have also demanded teachers rise to new challenges, which can be offputting to those considering a teaching career. However, working in such close proximity to STEM educators has given us a deeper insight into the struggles faced by those delivering quality sustainability education to students around our city, and how to solve them.
Our mission is to equip young people with the knowledge to create a sustainable future, but we also want to continuously elevate and support the classroom leaders who make that mission possible. The programming in our farm classrooms is designed from the ground up to ensure teachers have easy access to a variety of support resources, are connected with peers in the field of STEM education, and feel confident exploring sustainability science topics alongside their students. In this season of gratitude (and all year round), we want to shout from the rooftops about the extreme importance teachers play in shaping our society. Thank you for all you do every day for the students, children, and young professionals around the world staring down a climate-altered future.