Miles Clements’ life took a turn after his parents divorced and his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
He was a student at Fishers High School at the time. His studies began to suffer and his behavior changed, he said, so much that he was issued a detention once.
Things could have turned out worse, if one teacher hadn’t checked up on him, he recalled. He said they didn’t even talk about school. She just wanted to know what was going on in his life. But it was enough for Clements to start taking his learning seriously again — and make a decision about his future.
Clements said experiencing firsthand the impact that a teacher can have on someone’s life made the difference for him. He’s now a junior at the University of Indianapolis, preparing to become a teacher himself.
“If that teacher could do that for me, I can do that for other students,” Clements said. “I just wanted to be that person that can be there to care for them and give them the education that they need.”
Like school systems across the country, Indianapolis districts have struggled to fill their teaching vacancies, especially after the pandemic. Many experienced teachers are leaving the profession, citing inadequate pay or high stress.