Juniors and seniors at Logansport High School have the opportunity to get their feet wet teaching before even graduating or heading off to college.
The program is called Tomorrow’s Teachers and allows students to receive up to 12 total dual-credits from IU Kokomo during their junior and senior years of high school.
Students will observe a teacher twice a week for three weeks and then change to a different teacher. They have to meet certain requirements for each grade level throughout the observation periods. The program also gives students an opportunity to also teach lessons at different grade levels.
“There’s not really a full on teaching thing,” said junior Olivia Corcoran. “But for the class that I’m in right now — I’m in an art class with second and first graders — they had a sub on Friday. So I taught the whole class because the sub had no idea what was going on — but I knew what was going on from Tuesday.”
Many of the students in the class at Logansport High School have an idea what grade or age range they want to teach. Most said that they were interested in elementary students, but a few of them were interested in teaching junior high or high school classes and possibly college-level classes.
“I’ve learned that it’s about the education but it’s also about knowing your students and noticing how they feel in their lives,” said junior Sydney Baldwin. “It’s not just, ‘Come in and we’re learning,’ it’s ‘I am going to come in and be your friend but your teacher also.’ So it’s more about the loving aspect just as much as the teaching aspect, I think.”
Ana Baltazar Francisco said that she wants to teach fifth grade. She was inspired by her fifth grade teacher, Mr. Gellinger, and wants to continue his legacy. “A part of that legacy is to get children to enjoy reading because, as a fifth grade student, I hated reading. I just sucked at it. And then I had a change of that, so I just want to teach students to read literature. And that’s fifth grade, because they can understand chapter books very well. They’re still developing with those books, and they can take what they learn from those books into real life society.”
The students also have book work they have to complete when they are not observing in their classrooms.
“We read our chapters and this year it’s all about different age ranges … We’re about to start early adulthood and while we’re in our observation rooms — like I’m in the preschool right now—I’m supposed to be looking for what is in the book,” said senior Maggie Hopper.
The chapters cover the different stages of cognitive development.
“We write reflections where we just talk about what we’ve done in the classroom and how it pertains to our content,” said Hopper.
The Tomorrow’s Teachers meet in Corey Cripe’s science room. Cripe said he is the “go-between between IUK and the students.” He organizes and recruits all the host teachers for observations and goes to IUK for organizational meetings for the program. He lets them know what’s working, what isn’t working and what in the program needs tweaking. Cripe also teaches astronomy, geology and earth science and will be coaching softball for the first time this spring. He previously coached baseball.
This is the second year for the program.