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UW-Platteville tailors School of Education to rural learning environments

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is preparing its Education majors for new ways of teaching.

Recent data from UW-Platteville shows 80% of its education graduates step out of their classrooms and into rural school districts.

“I just want to make a difference in this world,” Michaela Acherman, UW-Platteville, School of Education student said. “The dream is to teach at either Mineral Point or Darlington.”

A daughter of two Darlington school teachers, she’s currently studying to be an Elementary Education teacher herself, with the hope of returning to her hometown of Mineral Point to start her career.

“I want to teach in a rural area, because I think you get to know your students on a more intimate level,” Acherman said.

Platteville’s School of Education Director, Dr. Jen Collins explains her staff is making to courses, to help students like Acherman, be better equipped for those intimate environments.

“We want to change that narrative that it’s ‘less than,’” said Collins.

Collins also said some of these new courses will be tailored to focus on the strengths, weaknesses, and differences to working in an urban district.

“Every community has its challenges, but what are the strengths and assets that our people are bringing to those communities and how is what’s happening in rural schools benefiting,” Collins said.

With the hope of preparing aspiring teachers, like Acherman, to reach their goals.

“Everyone has given me so much love and support my entire life and if I can do that for my students, that would be the most fulfilling thing in the world for me,” Acherman said.

Those classes tailored to teaching in rural school districts are expected to start this fall.

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