Educators from all over southwest Oklahoma and across the state were invited to the EngageOk On the Road Conference, including MacArthur High School Counselor Katie Jackson-Seeley who attended the conference for the first time.
"Oh we were really excited my counselor partner and I Nicole were super excited to be here! We are piloting the I-CAP next year we are the only high school in Lawton so we are getting some good information here about that today," said Jackson-Seeley.
The conference included breakout sessions like Intro to School Support, Making Mathematical Thinking Visible, and Communication Bootcamp to name a few, but the most popular session was "What students wish their teachers knew" led by State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.
Some of the students from area high schools who were also invited, answered.
"It honestly takes a lot of hard work because Oklahoma is ranked 49th in education and when teachers should be number 1 priority besides nurses and doctors, because teachers are funding our future we are the future," said William Jones.
Hofmeister addressed this and a number of other issues our state education system is facing.
"Well certainly we will continue to advocate to the legislature the needs of Oklahoma kids and that is a growing need we continue to have increasingly diverse learners, kids that are experiencing hardship and trauma often and they require greater resources we got to keep pace with the need and that is something we look to the legislature of course to pass a budget that will actually do that," said Hofmeister.
Hofmeister said the average teacher stay in Oklahoma is only 6 years. She said as long as there is a teacher shortage, classroom sizes will continue to grow and districts will be forced to cut off programs that our kids need.
"Its going to require legislative action to provide competitive teacher pay or we are going to continue to lose teachers to neighboring states or they are going to leave the industry completely," said Hofmeister.