Cassville students take a look at teaching

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Pictured are members of the Future Teachers of America at Cassville High School. Front row, from left: Mary Hagens, 11th grade communication arts teacher and FTA co-sponsor; Lisa Lambel, Dalton Tolbert; Mandy Boone, 10th grade communications arts teacher and co-sponsor; and Megan Richter. Second row: Hayley Nape, Jaci Evans, Mary Hayse and Sydney Larson-Brandt. Third row: Somer Brooks, Abigail Buntin and Dalia Phelps. Contributed photo

Future Teachers of America members glean new insights

Student members of Future Teachers of America (FTA) recently took a field trip of sorts -- on their own campus.

On Feb. 2, Cassville campuses participated in an all-day, joint job shadowing event to help 13 FTA members get an inside view into the daily realities of being a teacher.

"Each FTA student performed various tasks of their teacher's choosing, and they had lunch with students on campus," said Mary Hagen, 11th grade communications art teacher and co-sponsor of the club. "It serves as a small dose of reality for students before they spend thousands of dollars on a college education, so many potential teachers have an overly idealistic picture of saving the world."

This is the group's third year to participate in the job shadowing program.

"The first year that I asked for administrative permission for this project, [in the spring semester of 2014], we spent two class periods on various campuses within the Cassville district," Hagen said. "As a result of positive feedback from both our students and their mentor teachers, we decided to ask for a full day of job shadowing the following year. This year, we chose Feb. 2, Groundhog Day. All of our members, freshmen through seniors, were eligible."

In addition to the benefits of job shadowing, some members are enrolled in Teach and Train, a program introduced at the beginning of the school year for the purpose of training future educators.

"Several of our junior and senior FTA members are currently participating in this excellent program," Hagen said.

By day's end, after seeing a true representation of what it's really like to teach a classroom and manage students and behavior, the students had not changed their resolve to become teachers, and brought back new knowledge and fresh insights.

"Throughout the day, I learned that students perform better when they enjoy the classroom setting," said freshman Dalia Phelps.

"Job shadowing was a great experience for me," said Mary Hayse. "During job shadowing, I learned that some students work better when they're in groups. I also learned that some students learn better by doing projects."

"Many FTA members observed different strategies for classroom management and student engagement," said Mandy Boone, 10th grade communication arts teacher and co-sponsor of the club. "FTA members enjoyed this opportunity with teachers and students. Job shadowing gave them an opportunity to experience their future careers first-hand. I think this is a great opportunity for students to see real teaching in action."

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