NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - With graduation close by, Pinveille High School Senior Crislyn Bynog wants to pursue an education major in college.
"History is my thing," Bynog said. "I'm sure I want to teach, but I want to just get as much information as possible."
Juniors and seniors in Central Louisiana were motivated by what experienced teachers had to say about the profession at NSU's Educators Rising Conference on Monday.
"It's something you have to want to do, it's not a job necessarily for money," said Alexandria Senior High School Senior Dylan Sweat. "It's something you do out of a passion."
But, it's a job students in the state are shying away from.
"There is a great need in the state of Louisiana for teachers," said NSU Assistant Professor of Education April Giddens. "We need strong teachers, we need teachers that are devoted to the profession and really have a passion for students."
Giddens, who is also Louisiana's 2012 Teacher of the Year, said the conference's main focus is to change that way of thinking. Students attended special sessions and spoke with a panel of NSU education majors to get their questions answered.
"They can ask them why they chose education, what made them choose that, who inspired them and hopefully that will then impact students to choose that profession," Giddens said.
Students also heard from 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Katy Smith and this year's Louisiana Teacher of the Year Kimberly Eckert.
"We really need to elevate the profession where the very best and brightest kids understand that this profession needs you," Eckert said.
Eckert said that the field is tough, especially right now in the state, but new innovative minds can help change that.
"I look at it only with hope," Eckert said. "It's definitely not Louisiana that faces that. It's nationwide and worldwide, and we are all kind of the guardians going into the same cause together and that is a pretty powerful thing."
Already signed up for college as an education major, Bynog said this conference only justifies her decision to teach history.
"If I can find a job where I can just talk about that all day and teach new people to possibly love it as much as I do, then why not," Bynog said.
During her rein as teacher of the year, Eckert said she is working with the Louisiana Department of Education on a new campaign, 'Be irreplaceable, be a teacher'. Just like the conference, she said the campaign will focus on helping high school students explore educational career fields.
For more information on this campaign visit the attached link.