PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – According to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, in 2014 our state will have approximately 3,000 education job openings. The Pascagoula School District is offering a new program to help fill this need. This year, the district opened its Teachers Academy at the Applied Technology Center.
On Wednesday, a young woman looked out of place in a classroom full of first graders. Anna Dobrowski is a second year student at Pascagoula High School. She would spend some time at Eastlawn Elementary School learning what it was like to be a teacher.
When asked how she felt on her first day of teaching, Anna replied, “I was so nervous. But all the kids came up to me and hugged me, so they made me feel welcome in the classroom. “
Anna is one of 35 students from Pascagoula and Gautier high schools who are enrolled in the new Teachers’ Academy in the Pascagoula school district. Every Wednesday, they visit various schools for on-the-job training.
âThey actually work as teaching assistants and they help teachers with small groups. They help kids read, prepare materials that teachers need,â said instructor Erika Reynolds.
“The program is very rigorous,” she added. “Every education course I took in college, they get a taste of it this year.”
Students can explore the joys and challenges of the teaching profession now, instead of waiting until college.
“I’m really thinking about it more,” said Michaela Lee, senior at Gautier High. “I’ve always had a love for teaching. I thought it was something I wanted to do growing up, so I think I’ll take it deeper and make a profession out of it.”
âNow I don’t want to leave them anymore. I want to stay with them. I like it a lot, so I think it helps,â Dobrowski said.
In a way, the school district develops its own teachers.
âI want them to come back to Pascagoula. I myself am a product of the Pascagoula school system and I think the crown for me would probably be that one of them come back and be a teacher in our district,â he said. said Reynolds.
To enter the program, students must meet academic and attendance requirements. Next year, the district will offer “Teacher Academy II”. Students who complete the program with a “B” average and pass the exit exam may earn course credit at select Mississippi community colleges.
Several students in the program are also interested in careers in the child care industry, child psychology, and pediatric nursing.
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