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Cavs Become Teacher Cadets

Senior Amanda Sisti shadows Principal Kim Warr as part of the Teacher Cadet Program.

This year CHS is excited to offer the North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program. This is a program sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Educators designed to recruit future teachers from NC high schools. “It is a wonderful program that exposes high school students to teaching as a profession and it gives them a chance to experience first-hand what teaching is like,” said Lisa Helms, the CHS teacher cadet instructor.

Senior Megan Hunt said, “I wanted to be a teacher but I wasn’t sure if I could do it. This class will help me make the decision. I think I would like to be an Ag teacher. I really like the subject and it comes naturally to me.”

Students spend the first two grading periods in class learning about various topics in education such as student learning styles, barriers to learning, special education, cognitive development, teaching styles, how to write a lesson plan, and requirements for getting a teaching license. In addition to classroom time, students spend time observing in different school environments. The first observations took place at Kensington and New Town elementary schools. Students spent two days in elementary classrooms observing the teachers, students, and environment of the school.

Senior Shaun Howell observed in the 5th grade class at Kensington Elementary where he will be doing his field experience later in the semester. "I really liked the teacher and the kids. I can't wait to go back. I wish I could spend the whole day there!"

“I was undecided about teaching but I observed a kindergarten class and I was in heaven! It inspired me to be a kindergarten teacher! The kids are so loving,” said senior Haley Pileski.

Students also spent three days at Cuthbertson Middle School observing those teachers and students, and then shadowed some of the instructional support personnel here at the high school. They spent first block with the principals, guidance counselors, office staff, and the media specialist to see what a typical day is like for them. Senior Amanda Sisti shadowed her principal Ms. Warr and said, "It was really cool shadowing her. I never knew how much she did!"

The cadets will also spend time observing classes here at CHS, not as students, but from a teacher’s perspective. The final six weeks (and what the students are looking forward to) will include a field experience in an elementary school classroom. They will spend first block working in an elementary classroom at either Kensington or New Town Elementary. They will have the opportunity to assist the classroom teacher, work one on one with children, and even teach some lessons to the class.

“This program is great for several reasons: 1. Students can see if they truly are interested in teaching before committing to study that in college. 2. Students get a taste of all three levels of teaching and can decide which one they prefer (elementary, middle or high). 3. Students who may not have really thought much about teaching might realize what a rewarding job it is and may choose to pursue that as a career,” said Mrs. Helms.

Students who are interested in taking the teacher cadet class may see either Mrs. Helms or their counselor for more information. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, submit teacher recommendations, and write an essay about why they would like to take the class.

Written by: CHS Teacher Cadet Instructor Lisa Helms.
Posted: Oct 23, 2013 by Paula White

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