Educators Rising University of Aurora Fall Kick-Off


Photo By Katie Pfotenhaur

The logo for the Educators Rising organization has a distinctive angled E, and the overall theme for this year’s Aurora University Fall Kick-Off was “Teaching for the Future.” Kaneland’s Educators Rising club meets every Monday after school.

     Educators Rising students from Kaneland and other nearby districts went to Aurora University in Aurora, IL, on Wednesday, Oct. 14, for their annual Fall Kick-Off event. 

     Educators Rising is a national organization for people that want to teach in their future careers. Aurora University partners with local high schools and community colleges, and they offer scholarships to students who come to Aurora University to study education.

     Visiting high school students at Aurora University did leadership activities, met the people in Educators Rising at Aurora University,  listened to a keynote speaker, toured the campus and talked to current college students about life on campus.

     Dr. PJ Caposey, an award-winning author and educator, was the keynote speaker. He is the superintendent of Meridian District 223. He has spoken at many local, state and national conferences, and his variety of powerful messages leave an impact on students.

     “You are going to be that person that is going to sprinkle joy, optimism, hope and support all over your students all the time. You never quite know which one conversation is going to take root,” Caposey said. 

     First-year Educators Rising sponsor, science teacher Patrick Carter, enjoyed his time at the conference. He got to meet new people and watch the students interact with each other.  

     “I got to meet some teachers that I have not met before, and I got to watch the students interact and learn from other students, especially college students, that are more closely related to my students, but also in the field of education. It has changed a lot since I went to college,” Carter said.

     Senior Jordan Anderson joined Educators Rising because she sees the passion that all of her teachers have, and she wants to have the same passion for teaching as all of them. She also learned from the trip that it’s not always easy.

     “It’s not always going to be an easy job, and there are going to be challenges all the time, but at the end of the day, it is all going to be worth it to see kids succeed,” Anderson said.

     Teaching is what sophomore Maria Carrillo wants to do, and that is why she joined Educators Rising this year. She learned about the different experiences teachers go through and how important it is to be prepared. 

     “I loved learning about how some of it works, what I am going to experience when I become a teacher and what I should prepare for,” Carrillo said.

Already, Kaneland’s Educators Rising has done something to thank the teachers this year. On Oct. 4, students who are a part of Educators Rising put apples and notes in teachers’ and administrators’ mailboxes for their hard work so far this year.

     In November, they plan on doing Read for the Record, an annual event where the students in Educators Rising read to the elementary school students in the Kaneland district. This year’s book is Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Zhang and Charlene Chua. 

     Caposey thinks that there is no better job to have than a teacher.

     “I believe that we have the best jobs in the world, and it is definitely not the easiest job or the best paying job, but I do believe it is the best job in the world,” Caposey said.