RMHS completes 16 career pathways with Educator Prep courses
September 21, 2016
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RMHS now teaches teaching. This year, District 214 has added a suite of Educator Prep courses that offers students a comprehensive, hands-on curriculum to learn how to create lessons and instruct younger students.
The courses seek to prepare students for a career even before they go to college and allows them to go into actual elementary and middle school classrooms to do so. It even offers college credit.
Education Academy students teach lessons, administer tests, grade papers and work one-on-one with students.
“It’s a really, really cool hands-on opportunity that most students don’t get in until their junior year of college,” Educator Prep teacher Linda Pribyl said. “They’re getting that senior year of high school.”
One student, senior Zach Marcupolus, went through the pathway at summer school in order to get to the final Education Academy course. During that time, he worked with students at Fairview Elementary School and Eisenhower Middle school.
“When I first went there I was afraid of the kids,” Marcupolus said. ”…I didn’t want to mess up or anything. But as each day was going on, each hour, the kids were getting used to me and I was able to form connections with them. So that was really helpful in the long run.”
If this type of class seems familiar, it’s because it is. In recent years, RMHS has committed to adding career pathways, all with a hands-on approach to preparing students for the real world.
“It’s not just sitting there doing a project, taking a test,” Graphic Design teacher Kent Dyer said. “It’s really creating something that is meaningful and would be as close to a real life experience but you can get out of school.”
Educator Prep students help teach young kids. Project Lead The Way students engineer and build a vehicle. Entrepreneurship students create and run a business. Graphic Design students create shirts for clubs and learn industry-level skills.
“I think it’s genius,” Pribyl said. “We want [students] to be able to explore lots of different options…the pathways are just an awesome way for students to try different things.”
Educator Prep courses offer incentives to students who go all the way, however. If students complete the final course, Education Academy, they can get a guaranteed student teaching position if they go to National-Louis University. Both College Introduction to Education and Education Academy are dual credit, helping students save money in college.