Timber Creek’s education pathway wants to make students more aware of the opportunities they offer.
“It’s so unfortunate that we haven’t promoted the program,” said Mrs. Smith, the head of the pathway. “So many students haven’t been made aware.”
Students can take Principles of Education Training, and Human Growth and Development in order to prepare for Instructional Practices in Education and Training as well as Practicum in Education. The Instructional Practices classes have one semester of instruction and a second semester in an actual classroom, while the Practicum course put students in a classroom internship as soon as three weeks into the school year. Students do attend their education class at TCHS one day a week as well.
Kaity Rainwater, a TCHS senior, is in Practicum. She interns in a sixth grade classroom at Trinity Meadows Intermediate four days a week during second period on A and B days. Like Rainwater, others have the opportunity to choose a grade level and sometimes even a teacher with whom to intern; one student will intern with TCHS choir director Amy Fambrough later in the 2016-2017 school year. Student teachers still have their own lessons and class work for their own grades, but they spend a large bulk of their time with their own students, even writing and teaching lessons of their own.
“It’s very similar to what college education students do,” said Smith. “The only difference is the amount of time spent in the classroom.”
Smith described the program as a “snapshot” of what students will get in a college level education, but instead of having a class on each topic, TCHS education classes offer various units. As Rainwater adds, these classes prepare students for college education while the internships help them compile connections and experience for jobs later on in life.
“As long as a teacher will allow a student to do an internship, the sky’s the limit,” Smith said.
Rainwater loves building relationships with teachers and especially students. She adds, “My classroom welcomes me every morning with ‘Hello Ms. Rainwater!’ and when I leave, they always say, ‘Bye Ms. Rainwater!’ That always makes me smile. They are goofy kids with big ideas, and every minute I’m with them makes me want to pursue education more and more.”