Future teachers receive scholarships as potential teacher shortage looms

HIXSON, Tennessee (WDEF)- As students leave the classroom for summer vacation, some teachers may follow but won’t be returning next fall.  A future teacher shortage is possible but some future and former educators feel that teaching is a rewarding calling.

Seven scholarships were given out by the Chattanooga Hamilton County Retired Teachers Association to students who intend on becoming teachers and educators.

They’re at the beginning. We want to encourage them so that they can carry the torch,” said Gwenda Gregory, President of the CHCRTA.

One of those recipients is Kayla Jones. She already teaches for Hamilton County but is continuing her education to receive her doctorate. She says it’s all about the students.

“It hasn’t been easy since the pandemic. That challenge, if you’re willing to rise to the challenge the kids are willing to rise to the challenge with you,” said Jones.

Jones says the pandemic was tough for teachers but her advice is to stick with it and the career is incredible rewarding.

“I’ve been able to really develop relationships with students even students aren’t necessarily in my class on my own. Building those relationships and seeing the students succeed when they didn’t think they could it makes it all worthwhile,” said Jones.

Gregory say as people are worried about teacher shortages she knows teaching kids is a calling and there are future teachers among us just like those seven who received scholarships today.

“You’re called. Sometimes take the job because it’s available and then later on you say wow this is where I’m supposed to be. So yes teachers are called,” said Gregory.

“Teaching I feel like with something that was in my soul to do,” said Jeanni Highlander.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News