It’s no question that technology and science continue to evolve and advance in our world. With their advancements, it’s only more important that schools are equipped with the highest quality instructors to help students grow within these fields. STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is a rapidly growing curriculum that offers students a chance to explore rigorous and critical thinking skills. Even elementary schools have identified the need for it in their elective programs which is very indicative of the demand.
So why STEM? Why not just increase the rigor in all the other subject areas that make up the curriculum? Because, STEM incorporates all science, technology, engineering and mathematics collectively. Over the years, there was quite a bit of observation happening in classrooms. Teachers were passionate about their teaching. Students were learning, at least, for the most part that was observed. Then why were test scores so low? Why were students entering college with remedial classes and one to two semesters behind?
Because the world we live in has changed so drastically, there was a need to look back at the curriculum and try to align it with contemporary thinking. Students were advancing in the way they used technology and jobs around the world centered behind the milestones of what is known as STEM. So, then it became very apparent that there was a high need for rigor in the classroom. There was a need to evoke critical thought from students that allowed them to be prepared for higher level processing. With that being said, STEM evolved and so did districts who understood the need to hire teachers in that field.
School districts need to be paying close attention to what’s happening all around them. More schools of choice are becoming the norm and in order to compete in that market, STEM should be a foundation behind your hiring strategy. Here, you’ll learn what STEM is and how hiring STEM teachers will significantly help your school district.
Curriculum is integrated across many disciplines.
STEM curriculum is different than any other. It helps to integrate all disciplines into one type of critical thinking program. Students are given many hands-on and relevant learning experiences that they wouldn’t normally get with traditional classes. They are challenged to think outside their normal scope and understand the why instead of the what. Future leaders in technology and innovation are born in STEM classrooms. Students are able to analyze and assess in order to make sense of information. These are the types of skills that can’t necessarily be taught. Instead, they are interwoven in the curriculum to promote critical thinking and analysis.
Teachers who are skilled in this field help to provide districts with competition over others. STEM has also become more recently popular as the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, stood behind it and called for more schools to adopt it within their communities. Nowadays, elementary school students are growing eco-friendly green houses in their classrooms and learning about things such as sustainability. This wasn’t exactly the norm outside teaching them their basic alphabet and counting.
Help to boost enrollment.
One of the first things you’ll see from adopting a STEM program and teaching staff is a boost in your enrollment numbers. STEM is well-known for its rigorous practices and helping students achieve on all academic levels. So, as more and more people see that your district offers STEM, the more enticed they would be to register their students within your district. For instance, with many charter schools popping up around neighborhoods, it has become even more difficult to enroll students. If your district is struggling to maintain steady numbers, hiring more STEM teachers in your schools will definitely help to increase the number of parents who want to enroll their students.
Students also begin to maintain a sense of pride in their school. They know that the teachers are challenging them and forcing them to think deeper. Students know that what they’re learning will propel them to be successful and confident in whatever field they choose to pursue.
STEM Teachers are a dime a dozen.
As great as the program is, it’s also a very competitive and rigorous process. STEM teachers are not as accessible as one may think. Due to such a demanding field, it’s even that much more important for districts to consider adopting programs for current teachers to be trained in STEM. And, since not many districts offer this program, it can become that much more appealing for a STEM teacher to want to come to work for your district. From both sides, it’s definitely a win-win. Federal programs are also very aware of how important STEM is for education and many of their grants they offer have STEM foundational components for the application.
Nothing like positive PR for your district.
Traditional schooling is exactly that – traditional and old-fashioned. Now, more and more programs, especially those that are highly recognizable, are what families look for when determining what schools to take their children to. Not only that, but teachers are becoming much more detailed about the types of schools they teach in. With such high stakes behind student assessments and how it affects their jobs, teachers want to be in schools where the priority is academic achievement. Of course, they want to work in schools where there is a high need, but they also recognize school leaders and districts for bringing in effective programs such as STEM.
It’s obvious that students will always need to think deeper and more critically about the things they encounter every day. If we cannot teach our students to think for themselves and answer the whys of the world, then we have done them a disservice. Once they leave secondary education, they have to be more than ready for college, they need to be prepared. The fact that over 50% of graduating seniors end up taking remedial classes in college is pretty alarming. The more opportunities that students are provided with high-quality and effective programs, the more than likely they are to succeed in their post-secondary experiences and careers.
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