By Lizzie Kipp / Staff writer

It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. 

Anyone can just stand in a classroom and read information out loud to a group of children, but teaching is so much more than that. It requires not only knowledge but patience and – maybe most importantly – desire to teach. 

Due to America’s teacher shortage being at an all-time high, good educators are needed badly in all areas of study, at all levels of education.

Hutchinson Community College sophomore Sloan Hayden is studying to be a physical education/weights teacher. 

“My older brother is a football coach and taught weights at the high school I went to,” Hayden said. “He told me the reason he went into education was to make a positive impact on kids’ lives. That’s kind of what I want to do as well.”

Hayden observes PE/Weights classes at Hutchinson High School and Graber Elementary School.

“The thing I look forward to the most about my career is getting to be around sports, which is my passion,” Hayden said. “And I get to wear shorts every day.”

After HutchCC, Hayden said he plans on playing football for an undecided institution.

Cassidy Mahoney, an elementary education major, shares Hayden’s desire to be a positive role model for children. She intends to teach the fourth grade. 

“I chose to teach because I know teachers are needed right now, and it’s a job that moves around if I decide to relocate,” Mahoney said.

After receiving her associate degree at HutchCC, Mahoney plans on attending Wichita State and becoming a paraeducator while doing so.

“I look forward to teaching America’s youth, because that is our future,” Mahoney said. “I want to have the honor of getting to know those kids and giving them a safe place to be.”

HutchCC student Katelyn LaPoint plans on possibly attending Wichita State and teaching kindergarten in the future.

“I chose to teach because teaching little kids seemed like a fun job,” LaPoint said. “I also love little kids. They’re so fun to be around and I always get along with them.” 

LaPoint also observes classes at Graber Elementary on a weekly basis. 

Being an educator requires a great deal of both heart and tolerance. Future generations rely on them.

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