Members of Elkin High School’s FTA (Future Teachers of America) attended the State FTA Conference in Raleigh on Feb. 12 and 13. FTA members Anna Poplin, Josie Dumas, Julie Neumark and Anna Taylor were led by FTA Adviser Ruthann McComb, who also teaches science.
During the conference, students introduced themselves to other prospective teachers, volunteered to participate in conference activities, developed friendships, and learned that the EHS FTA is part of a larger group of students in North Carolina with the same goals and passion for teaching.
Members also met the North Carolina Teacher of the Year 2014-15, James Ford, and placed first in the video competition. Their video promoted teaching and explained why teachers matter. As FTA members Josie Dumas and Julie Neumark explained, teaching is critical in today’s world. “We believe that without teachers, no one would be in the profession [he is] in today.”
FTA helps prepare students to become caring teachers, and supports current teachers and educational staff through activities during American Education Week and Teacher Appreciation Week each year. McComb has advised the club for seven years and finds satisfaction in working with youth. “I enjoy helping high school students explore their possible career path into the most important profession of all,” she said.
Though not every prospective teacher realizes his or her calling to teach during the high school years, McComb would like to encourage the ones who do. “Great teachers want all of their students to be successful, educated citizens, and professionals. We believe that every child can learn, and we do our very best each day to help students do just that,” McComb explained.
For McComb, the FTA State Conference was a great experience. “I discovered that even though Elkin is small, our FTA chapter is small, and we do not offer Teacher Cadet classes in our high school, our students are competitive with bigger schools in bigger places with more numerous opportunities. Our high school students made me very proud.”
Katie Beard is a member of the Elkin High School Journalism Club.