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Students interested in a teaching career get hands-on experience thanks to teaching/training pathway

Students interested in a teaching career get hands-on experience thanks to teaching/training pathway

Teaching intern working with a student at Enterprise Elementary.For students interested in a career in teaching, one of the many career and technical education pathways the district offers high school students is the Teaching/Training pathway.

“This pathway is designed for students who have an interest in being a teacher or a professional trainer,” said Paul Kitchen, the pathway coordinator at Northwest High School. “The students who get the most out of the classes are students curious about the teaching career who are willing to investigate that interest.”

The teaching/training pathway, which is available at East, North, Heights, Northwest, South and West high schools, allows high school students to experience the same types of classes education majors atake during their first year of college.

“Our program offers “Teaching as a Career,” which is the basic foundations of education where they look at it from a teacher’s perspective,” said Erin McClung, the pathway coordinator at South High School. “We also offer a class called “Observation,” which allows students to experience teaching at all grade levels. Students also have an opportunity to do a year-long internship where they work in a real classroom under the supervision of a teacher.”

Students in the classes have opportunities to earn college credit through Wichita State University and Newman University.

Northwest senior Addy Fielding has wanted to be a teacher since she was little and started in the pathway this year.

“I’m in the pathway because I want to be an early childhood education teacher,” Fielding said. “I’m trying to get my credits taken care of so I can go into that as soon as I can.”

Jessica Ortiz, a senior at Northwest, started taking teaching courses this year to explore becoming a teacher. She is interning at Dodge Literacy Magnet Elementary School and has loved getting hands-on experience in the classroom.

“Taking the class has definitely made me lean more toward teaching since I have an internship,” Ortiz said. “My internship is with second graders and I love it.”

Each year, graduating seniors in the pathway are given the opportunity to study for and take the ParaPro Assessment test, which certifies them to become a paraprofessional. This gives students the option to apply to work as a paraprofessional in Wichita Public Schools while attending college to obtain a teaching degree.

Kitchen has seen many former students go on to become teachers and is proud of his role in introducing students to his profession.

“To have them come back to teach and become part of the community that they were part of is great,” Kitchen said.

McClung says introducing students to the career and seeing them succeed is one reason she enjoys teaching in the pathway.

“It’s reinvigorated me as a teacher to teach these classes because it’s helped me examine my attitude toward the profession and I get to show students the positive side of being a teacher,” said McClung.


Posted May 9, 2022