High school students enjoy Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers
As he shared responsibilities for teaching young children at UTC’s Youth University summer enrichment classes, Kelvin Rutledge of Clarksville, Tennessee, suddenly realized he has had some great teachers at Kenwood High School. Rutledge was selected for Tennessee Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers, open to the brightest and most talented group of juniors and seniors from high schools across the state.
“I now know how much preparation it takes to teach a class, and I have the greatest respect for my teachers,” Rutledge said. “My math teacher taught me advanced algebra and trig, and in the beginning, I was lost. But she would not go on until everyone understood the material, a promise she made to herself when she began teaching. I would like to teach Spanish, and that’s the approach I want to take,” Rutledge said.
Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers is designed to encourage participating students to consider teaching as their profession. Among the 21 students chosen to attend was Kyle Marcum of Hixson High.
The program includes an overview of the myths and realities of the education profession, an examination of effective teaching strategies, computer and technological applications, observations and critiques of teaching performances, and an introspective view of learning and teaching styles.
“We are the leaders at our high schools, so it was a challenge to decide what we would teach, and how we would teach it,” said Joey Meier, of Oakland High School in Murfreesboro. “I would look around the group and realize that four people had four great ideas, and we had to work together to make decisions.”
Ashley Thomas of Beech High School in Goodlettsville enjoyed working cooperatively to share ideas and create a lesson plan, and said it “took the stress off one person.”
These high school students said they learned a lot about lesson plans, learning styles, and classroom management.
“I didn’t realize how hard it is to manage fifth and sixth graders,” Meier said. “It is important to keep them busy—if you give them any free time, they are going to run with it.”
Rutledge agreed, saying it was important for teachers to be flexible and prepared to offer students plenty of activities. He said technology was another important component.
“A PowerPoint, not a bland PowerPoint, but with different colors and text and one that let’s a teacher be interactive with students is fun and really works,” Rutledge said.
Margha Davis, faculty member in the Teacher Preparation Academy at UTC, is serving as co-director of the program with Carl Raus, Teacher Preparation Academy. Jim Thompson, retired Hamilton County teacher; Dr. Beth Dodd, director of Continuing Education at UTC; and Ginny Reese, director of Youth University and assistant director of Continuing Education also contributed to the success of Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers.
Davis said the group heard from a variety of speakers and visited the Whitwell
Holocaust Museum, the Creative Discovery Museum and the Aquarium. The students enjoyed a potluck dinner they cooked themselves, saying they learned a lot about each other as they prepared the dishes. They have already established a group on Facebook to stay connected at the conclusion of Governor’s School.
June 29, 2007