Teaching Academy: preparing the next generation of educators

Allie Bowe, Staff Writer

While many students groan at the thought of a classroom after twelve years of school, a selected few would prefer to spend their careers in one.
Enter Teaching Academy. Taught by Donna Abbey, the course offers opportunities for students to learn how to teach and interact with elementary school kids at Briarwood, Apollo or Newcastle, in subjects like math, English and science.
“First semester, you learn about becoming a teacher, and then second semester you actually get to go to an elementary school and become an intern,” junior Maddie Guthrie said. “You get to watch your mentor and teach two lessons, so you have a chance to kind of be a teacher.”
Twice a week, students go to their assigned classrooms and assist the teacher with whatever he or she needs. Sometimes they take groups of kids to work with, and other times they even make lesson plans for the whole class.
“You have to like little kids and be able to work with them, because if you can’t then you’re not going to be very effective during the intern placement,” junior Caleb Duhnke said. “Learning to speak in front of the kids and how to work with them in a classroom setting is really beneficial.”
Besides the educational experience, some students appreciate the bonding and funny stories that come with teaching little kids.
“One time the students were playing a graphing game that was a lot like Battleship,” senior Esther Pizelo said. “I made a guess one time and then every single turn after me, the kids would guess the same number. It was cute to see how they wanted to copy everything I did.”
Who knows? When those kids reach high school, Pizelo, Guthrie, Duhnke and the other Teaching Academy alumni could be their teachers.