HATTIESBURG, MISS. - USM hosted the first ever, "New Teacher Conference" on Thursday.
"We know that teaching is probably one of the most important professions there are... We shape America, and we shape our communities," Superintendent of Scott County School District, Tony McGee said.
The importance of a quality education can not be emphasized enough.
"If we have great productive schools and we're putting out citizens, and good citizens in our communities... our communities will get better so we know that everything starts with education," McGee said.
However, educating young minds is not an easy job.
"We've got to keep good teachers and we know the way to do this is to train those teachers, find solutions to their problems, and give them good techniques to use in the classroom to be successful," McGee said.
That's the reason why nine school districts came to USM's Thad Cochran Center, to help approximately 175 first year teachers learn important skills such as classroom management, effective parent communication, professional learning communities, along with a variety of other topics.
The conference gave these new teachers insight about difficulties they might face in the classroom, and then gave them solutions about how they can overcome those potential problems. The 2017 Mississippi Teacher of the Year, Luke Daniels of Petal Upper Elementary gives credit to events like this for helping get him to where he is now.
"Events like this and professional reading, and just getting help from those who have been where I wanted to go... made that road a little bit easier," Daniels said.
Now as the keynote speaker, Daniels said he hopes to pass the torch down to the next set of great teachers.