Teaching Academy prepares students for classroom careers

Will Wick, Staff Writer

“One day, I was doing a lesson on how two things can be different, but both right. I showed the class a picture of a black pig and a picture of a pink pig, and I asked them which one was wrong. The students were stumped at first, but when they realized that both pigs were ‘right’ and that it’s okay to be different, their smiles lit up the whole classroom,” senior Savannah Metzger said.
Metzger is part of Liberty’s Teaching Academy, which offers vital experience at local elementary schools for students interested in a career in the education field.
Taught by Donna Abbey, students in the class can get five units of credit at Bellevue College. They spend their first semester acquiring skills and building a portfolio to show they are ready to work in education.
“They learn how to make lessons because they actually will make their own lessons once they get to the elementary school. They learn how to manage children; for example, they learn that it’s important for kids to be engaged in class and what that looks like,” Abbey said.
“Teaching Academy has taught me how to teach effectively, especially for kids with disabilities. I’ve learned what to do in special situations,” senior Emily Rutherford said. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher ever since grade school. I joined Teaching Academy to learn how to teach and find out what setting I might want to do it in, for example, primary or secondary school.”
Students have the opportunity to become interns at local elementary schools in the second semester. Students in their second year of Teaching Academy intern both semesters.
“It has been such a joy helping students grow academically, as well as building friendships with them,” senior Kayla Wiscomb said. “The kids are great; they treat me like they would treat any teacher, and my mentor, Ms. Smith, is super supportive.”
Wiscomb is in her second year of Teaching Academy. Last year, she work worked with kindergartners at Briarwood.
“I’m interested in teaching because I want to be able to help students. School can be a tough place for children, and I want to make it a fun and safe place for them to be,” Wiscomb said. “If you enjoy working with kids you should definitely join Teaching Academy; it’s a great way to learn more about how to working with children and to help out in your local community.