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Kentucky Teacher shows how UK and Fayette County Schools are building teacher workforce

photo of teacher talking to elementary student
Fifth-grade teacher Brie Stalker completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky College of Education in December 2021 and began working at Picadome Elementary immediately after. Photo by Jackie Thompson, Kentucky Department of Education

A recent edition of Kentucky Teacher, a publication of the Kentucky Department of Education, featured the article “‘Hope and Action’: How UK and Fayette County Schools are building the Kentucky teacher workforce.”

Preliminary data show the number of incoming aspiring teachers at the UK College of Education recently increased 83 percent, going from 118 incoming education majors in Fall 2019 to 216 in Fall 2022. During that same time period, the number of freshman students of color increased 275 percent in teacher education programs, rising from 12 to 45.

The increase is attributed, in part, to this generation being motivated by the desire for a better world, and the college’s efforts centering on showing how teaching is a career in which they can make a difference.

The article reports the number of faculty of color in the UK College of Education also increased over the past three years and the college achieved its highest-ever ranking by “U.S. News and World Report.”

Students in the teacher education programs at the UK College of Education begin to build their skills in the field early through embedded school and field partnerships so they are well prepared to lead in classrooms by the time they graduate.

Kentucky Teacher visited UK College of Education students and alumni at Picadome Elementary in Lexington to report on the college’s school and field experiences.

“You can learn it through a piece of paper and pencil, but really you are going to learn it more hands-on,” UK alum and 5th grade teacher Brie Stalker told Kentucky Teacher. “Having that experience in a classroom was much more beneficial because I saw it firsthand. I saw kids react to the lessons, both positively and negatively.”

Visit Kentucky Teacher to read the full story by Audrie Lamb.