Now that is January, most juniors and seniors at school lounge in their desks and subtly tune out their teachers while counting down the minutes until Summer Break. By now, senioritis has infected the class of 2015 and juniors are feeling miserable after scaling the mountains of homework and studying for finals but a select few students here at Arapahoe see going to school as a joy.
Students like senior Tessa Jordan, who dream of becoming an Orchestra teacher. With the help of the Teacher Cadet program taught by Laura Alsdorf since 2008 at the AMES facility, Jordan can pursue her dreams.
“I was inspired by my middle school orchestra teacher, Marilyn Bailey, to pursue teaching. I am planning on becoming a middle school orchestra teacher as well but that might change,” Jordan said.
Teacher Cadet is a year long course for juniors and seniors whose curriculum prepares students to become a teacher or work in the educational field. The Teacher Cadet course is taught at both morning and afternoon sessions so that students could pick and choose when they would like to take the class. After completing the course, students are eligible for up to 10 college credit hours which they can use towards their teaching degree if they are still interested in teaching.
“The curriculum is divided into four units: The Learner, The School, The Teacher and Teaching,” Alsdorf said. “Students learn in the classroom with 15 hours of teacher observations during the fall semester. During the spring semester, Teacher Cadets are placed in a classroom with a mentor teacher completing a 75 hour ‘mini-student teaching’ experience.”
Jordan, who applied as a mentor teacher at Powell Middle School, Newton Middle School, Arapahoe High School and Littleton High School, is looking forward to see what it is like to teach in the field during the spring semester.
“Through the 12 week ‘mini-student’ teaching experience, Teacher Cadets are confident in making the decision whether to pursue teaching or not. Many times students find out when they are student teaching as a senior in college that they don’t want to be a teacher and it’s a costly decision at that point,” Alsdorf said.
Teacher Cadets also participate in the Family, Career and Consumer Leaders of America where leadership is emphasized in the program.
“I have learned a lot while in this class but most importantly, I have learned what it takes to be a leader and to lead a classroom of about 25 children,” Jordan.
The Teacher Cadet program is unique in its ability to offer an insight to those interested in teaching for their career. If the Teacher Cadet course is something that you would be interested in, there is an open house where Alsdorf will be at the LPS Ames facility to answer any questions that you have. The open house is on Thursday Jan. 15 from 3 p.m. through 7 p.m. that evening.