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Students Explore Teaching Profession Through Elective

December 17, 2021

Neah McGovern leading small group instructionThe course offerings at Bondurant-Farrar High School include a class, unlike any other, that provides students interested in exploring the teaching profession with an opportunity to learn through hands-on teaching experiences as a high schooler.

In its second year offered, the Teacher Academy course is co-taught by Career Readiness Teacher Leader Donovan Hill and Director of Instructional Services Jodi Brogan. This year, 12 upperclassmen are enrolled in the year-long elective. Through in-class content and discussions, paired with ten-week practicum experiences each semester, these students are able to gain invaluable insight into the teaching profession. 

“All students need to be exposed to careers but beyond that they need to be immersed in them as much as possible. The Teacher Academy class is unique in that it allows students to go out and be in real life classrooms to observe, interact, and practice working with students and teachers,” said instructor Donovan Hill.

The experience of going into the classroom allows those enrolled to see teachers in a completely different light. Students of the academy begin to see and understand the craft that education is for teachers as well as begin to understand themselves and what grade levels they might be interested in.

One student of the program, senior Neah McGovern (pictured above), credits the educators in her life for her interest in the teaching profession. “They have made such a big impact on me and have helped me push myself and grow in ways that I didn't know were possible. I feel very strongly about passing that on to future students.”

Of her experiences thus far, McGovern says the class is very hands-on and it stands out from other courses she has taken in high school.

“Within our first month of class, we were already out in classrooms getting in-person experience with teaching, planning lessons, and managing a classroom. On the days we were in classrooms, I learned more about teaching than I think I could have ever gotten from a textbook,” said McGovern.

In recent days, students of the course have been traveling to Morris Elementary to teach STEM-related activities in kindergarten classrooms. Leading up to each lesson, academy students planned activities they felt would be engaging to young learners and thus increasing their interest and keeping their attention. Prep-work included lesson planning, practicing, and working with instructors Brogan and Hill to think through any issues that might arise during the lesson.  

McGovern says of her experiences thus far, there’s never been a time that she has questioned how lessons learned through this course can be applied later in life. “In this class, I feel like I'm really being equipped with skills that will transfer not only to the field of education, but really to any other field I might choose to go into,” said McGovern.

Group picture of academy students and kindergarteners

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