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Principles of Teaching Pathway Prepares Students for Life After High School

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Principles of Teaching Pathway Prepares Students for Life After High School

Shyon Williams participates in the principles of teaching co-op program.  During her placement at Western Elementary where she assists second grade students with lessons.

Shyon Williams participates in the principles of teaching co-op program. During her placement at Western Elementary where she assists second grade students with lessons.

Photo Submitted by Shyon Williams

Shyon Williams participates in the principles of teaching co-op program. During her placement at Western Elementary where she assists second grade students with lessons.

Photo Submitted by Shyon Williams

Photo Submitted by Shyon Williams

Shyon Williams participates in the principles of teaching co-op program. During her placement at Western Elementary where she assists second grade students with lessons.

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SCHS offers many elective courses that provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice real world skills, and many of them are part of a system called “career pathways.” One of the pathways housed in the Family and Consumers Science department is Fundamentals of Teaching.  Students in this pathway will take a sequence of courses that include Family and Consumer Science Essentials, Early Lifespan Development, Middle to Late Lifespan Development, and then Principles of Teaching (POT). In this last course, students learn the basics of effectively controlling a classroom, as well as time management, responsibility, observations skills, and to be prepared.  

In POT, students will have the opportunity to teach several times throughout the year to practice the skills they are being taught. For example, every Thursday and Friday, students go to a shadowing site where they act as if they are the teacher. The tasks range from simple tasks such as grading papers, to leading the class to their next activity, etc. They are also required to teach their classmates about one of the objectives that must be covered.  Students must prepare notes, an activity and an assessment about the content being covered. Sonya Curren, Family Consumer Science teacher at Scott County High School stated, If you are interested at all in going into the field of education, this is definitely the course you should be taking during high school.”

If you are interested at all in going into the field of education, this is definitely the course you should be taking during high school.”

— Sonya Curren

The first skill POT helps students develop is time management.  This has been taught with the activities required in the course, many of which are project based. For example, one of the early projects is to design and build a bulletin board for a teacher’s classroom.  This teaches time management because students were given a timeline to complete the assignment from beginning to end.  Students had to talk with about the boards with the teacher that needed it, create or buy materials, and then still find time to plan the thing out, draw it out for the teacher’s approval, and then actually construct it, all while making it attractive.

Another aspect of time management required is arriving to shadowing sites on time.  Emily Finch, a senior at Scott County High School, explained. “Making it to co-op, then back to second period on time is completely on you. You know how long it takes to get there and back, so you have to manage your time better, or take a tardy slip.”

The second skill stressed by this pathway is responsibility. Students are completely responsible for their whole grade. Grades in this course reflect how well thought out and put together lesson plans are, and how well students teach the information to others. Part of the grade is also based on accuracy of a student’s co-op log hours. In addition, if a student knows they will be absent, they are expected to contact both the SCHS teacher of the course and the teacher that oversees them at their co-op placement.  

Knowing your environment is key to effective teaching, and in order to be effective, a student must learn to observe carefully.  When a student first starts at their shadowing site, they have to observe for the first few days. They’ll complete a reflection assignment about the learning environment, and they’re given specifics on what to pay attention to. This helps student’s notice more detail about any setting we’re in, not just a classroom. Gracie Conkle, senior at Scott County High School, stated, “This is a really important skill for this class, and the real world because you must pay attention to how everyone is reacting to the information you’re giving. So, if you see blank faces you’ll have to take a new approach or explain it differently.  It helps your ability to read people, too.”

Being prepared is a huge part of being an educator. In this class, the students are required to teach several times. They have to be able to put together a lesson plan for each class they have. They’ll also have to gather any needed materials or get ahold of any guest speaker they wish to have. The student will also have to introduce them and why they are there, so they’ll need to gather the information on them (years of experience, education, etc.)

Shyon Williams, senior at Scott County High School, had the chance to teach the class about child abuse. She created a lesson plan, had it approved by the instructor, designed guided notes, and wrote an assessment for the lesson.  Then she had the guidance counselor Mrs.Watford come and talk to the class about proper protocol for child abuse, etc. Shyon stated, “Preparing this lesson helped me because it made me realize as a teacher you can’t just come in and not have your day planned out. You have classes to teach and students need to learn.”  This won’t happen without preparation.

All of these are skills learned throughout the class, but they’re all skills that are applicable throughout life. On top of learning life skills, after completing all three courses the students are given the opportunity to earn up to 6 college credit hours through Bluegrass Community and Technical College which can then be transferred to any college in the state. To get the college credit, they must take and pass the Education Fundamentals AAFCS Pre-PAC national assessment. Students would them receive 3 credit hours of Orientation to Education and 3 hours of Child and Adolescent Development, which is another valuable benefit of this career pathway.

 

 

 

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