CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Education leaders and teachers from across the state got down to business Monday in Charleston at the West Virginia Education Summit sponsored by the West Virginia Education Alliance.

Organizers said the goal is to bring educators and the community together to learn what each needs to do to ensure students graduate with the skills they need to enter the workforce.

Winfield Middle School 7th grade science teacher Erika Klose was excited to hear from the business roundtable that included five panelists, all who run highly successful companies including the president of the West Virginia High Tech Consortium, the chief operating officer of Appalachian Power and the president of CAMC Health Systems.

Klose said in a lot of cases educators aren’t always up to date on the latest technology or skills students need in the real world. She said one of her main goal is to adapt her lesson plans so kids are prepared for high tech careers.

“For me, I’m here for my students. I’m learning what I can do to better help them to understand what the business community really has to offer them,” she stressed.

Klose called it a give and take. She helps prepare her students for the careers of tomorrow by getting feedback from executives on what skills they’re looking for in new hires. She called that especially important with science.

“(Students) are at the point where they make huge decisions. They may not be able to make an exact decision on what they want to do with their life but they make big decisions about what they perceive as cool or not cool or interesting or not interesting,” said Klose

The teacher explained if a student has a bad experience with a science class it can put them off the subject for years. By the time they try and catch up, they’ve missed so much a career in science or math may have already passed them by. She finds that especially true for young women.

“Girls get so much input about what as women they can do and what they can’t do. So especially at that age, if we can allow them to see that there’s a place for them in especially a technology career or something like that, it’s a really important time,” Klose stressed.

Also speaking at Monday’s event were Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and new state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano.

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  • grumpy 'ole man

    Seems like to this old codger that they don't have near as many empty classrooms as WV. I've seen people argue supply and demand for teacher salaries for years on this board, and now that the demand greatly outweighs supply many want to argue that basic economic principles don't apply.

  • John

    Ricky.....Right on with your comment. I agree 100%.

  • John

    Maybe the other states are paying TOO much!

  • Bill

    Most aren't qualified to teach anything.

  • richard

    There are many good teachers, but there are also many who shouldn't even be in a classroom.
    The good teachers deserve much higher pay. The bad teachers need to be released from their positions.
    It is very easy to determine which teachers are good and which are bad. Go to your own local facebook page and just sit back and read. Poor teachers are always the ones with the biggest mouths, bitching about their pay and not enough days off and the school boards doing this or that. The good teachers quietly go by day by day without all the facebook comments, quietly doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.
    That would be a good starting place.

  • CPA

    If anybody thinks the chief operating officer of Appalachian Power can help our children learn, I feel for you. This is the most mismanaged company around.

  • Joe

    I swear is whining a required course in teacher college?!

  • Teach

    Thank you Expatriot! Sounds like we had the same thinking parents! To the Rest of you, Shame on you for putting ALL teachers in same pot. Many of MY FRIENDS work their tails off. I'm sure in your profession there are slackers but shame on them! My parents taught me to work hard and give it 100% and I plan to do that until I die. It is sad that a fellow first year teacher is already seeking employment in another state and the position doesn't even require a 4 year degree. He will be doubling his salary. Until teaching is considered a profession then young people will not consider going into teaching. We already have a shortage and it will continue to get worse, then we will see what everyone thinks then. It's sad that this society doesn't put more into education because these children are OUR FUTURE. If you are so worried about TEACHERS getting raises then you should consider going into teaching yourself. We need all the teachers we can get. Don't you want the BEST doctor performing your Heart Surgery, then society should want the BEST teachers to educate their children - and the best way to do that is to get highly qualified individuals into teaching and good pay is the ticket. A student that graduates with a chemistry degree can go to work at a factory/lab - as a blue collar worker and get more pay than they can as a teacher! SAD!!!! BUT sometimes the smartest people can't always teach, because they can't understand why some individuals can't get it - they can't bring their teaching methods down to certain student levels.

  • JL

    Excellent post.

  • Ricky

    People don't want to pay them because they're overly greedy and have an inflated sense of self worth. They come off as arrogant with their 'my job is more important than yours' attitudes. They're unwilling to take responsibility for the role they've played in fostering our state's low ranking school system. And most of all because as soon as they get a pay increase they start lobbying for another.

  • Expatriot

    Why don't you want to pay them? Just can't understand WV sometimes. I was educated there and I felt it was a good education (Of course I had two parents who did not have an education but insisted teachers be treated like royalty or else) and their threat was, "I better never have to come down to that school for you acting like a fool!" I am a teacher in a border state. My salary after 19 years does not appear on 49 of the 55 county scales in WV. I've checked. I could only afford to come back and teach after I get my current retirement. Teachers are very valuable. Pay them.

  • roger

    Look out!....Its about time for teachers to start the same ole thing thats done each year....Higher Pay

  • Bill

    There is nothing that a across the board pay raise won't cure.