Last month the non-profit think tank Envision Utah launched a video campaign aimed to teach Utahns about statewide education issues.
The five videos cover topics like the need for language development for children at home and the importance of post-high school career planning.
“We’ve had these videos watched over 1 million times over the last month and we hope it’s working," says Jason Brown, Envision Utah's PR manager.
The campaign is called “My Education, Our Future.” The issues highlighted came from surveys of Utah residents. One huge are of interest: teacher retention.
“42 percent almost half of teachers quit within the first five years of teaching," says Brown. "That’s really concerning to Utahns.”
So, they made a video about it.
A student begins by saying, “Within a school my teachers have more of an effect on my education than anything else.”
The student hands his teacher flowers and a thank you card. Which she promptly puts in a box with the rest of her stuff and walks out of the classroom. Presumably for the last time.
Classmates rush to the window as she takes off. Pleading with her not to leave.
The student goes on to explain that teachers need better compensation and professional support if they’re going to stick around.
The videos are amusing but they’re also substantial.
“I think the response we’re looking for is people saying, ‘This is a problem, we need to do something about it,'" says Ari Bruening, Chief Operating Officer for Envision Utah.
That could mean calling state legislators, contacting school boards or just bringing it up in conversations.
Whatever form it takes Bruening just hopes they can help Utahns who feel invested in the issues get a little more educated about them.