The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Rising educators explore ULM campus at conference

Katherine Babin

ULM’s Educators Rising conference attracted over 750 middle school and high school students, including guests from Grambling State and ULL. The students met ULM education majors and professors who offered insight into the realities teachers face.

The statewide conference opted to avoid a lecture-heavy approach and instead placed the students at the forefront of many of the day’s events. Students competed against each other in competitions ranging from speaking events, research events and even a competitive children’s literature lecture.

Through the conference, these students shared ideas with others who are going into the education field.

“By networking, you form this jubilee that sparks creativity, new learning and new understanding,” Justin Overacker, an English teacher at Wossman High School, said. “What our country needs right now is an understanding of their different perspectives and compromise.”

Educators Rising began as a means to attract future teachers to combat teacher shortages in certain communities. 

Braxton Michel, a math teacher from Zachary High School, discussed the importance of bringing more educators into the field in Louisiana.

“Nobody in this day and age really wants to be a teacher,” Michel said. “We have to change that narrative because our profession can’t die, and no other profession can live if we die out.”

The effects of the teacher shortages are visible on a national level. Despite slight improvements in literacy rates in the state following the pandemic, Louisiana sits at no. 41 overall for K-12 education according to the most recent US News rankings.

Some of the volunteering education majors weighed in on the state of Louisiana education and the challenges that come with teaching this generation of students. Elementary education major Cailin Badgely explained what she views as one of the state’s largest concerns.

“One of the main issues in Louisiana with education does, at the bottom line, come down to poverty, and there’s not much that we as future and current teachers can do to really rectify that,” Badgely said. “But by doing something like this, there are ways that we can learn how to accurately respond to it so that we can give them a better chance of achieving success.”

For more on the Louisiana Chapter of Educators Rising, visit

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hawkeye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *