Column: Interest continues to build in Teacher Pathway program
WORTHINGTON — The Teacher Pathway, a collaboration between Worthington High School, Minnesota West, and Southwest Minnesota State, is wrapping up its second year. Here is an update on the program and its plans moving forward.
The pathway begins at Worthington High School, where 11th- and 12th-grade students are able to take a three-college-credit Intro to Education course. Numbers for the class have increased yearly and now, with 32 students currently enrolled, there is a possibility of adding a second course for the 2019-2020 school year.
Following the growing interest for Intro to Education, Worthington will also be offering a second concurrent course, Technology in the Classroom. Like Intro to Education, it will be a quarter-long, three-college-credit class that will introduce students to the different technologies available to teachers and the ways they can implement them in their classrooms. Although it is being offered for the first time, Tech in the Classroom already has 28 students signed up for the inaugural class.
Part of the success in generating interest in these classes can be credited to Worthington High School’s Future Teachers of America club. FTA, which meets a couple times a month, offers students in grades 9-12 a variety of different exposures to the world of education.
This year, FTA has visited the education programs of SMSU and Augustana, volunteered at events such as the YMCA’s Daddy Daughter Dance and spent time at a Spanish immersion school in Sioux Falls, S.D. Moving forward, the group is looking to provide future teachers with more exposure to classrooms, time with teacher mentors, help with scholarship opportunities and teacher signings modeled after those that help student-athletes.
As the state and the nation continue to feel the strain of the teacher shortage, developing, growing and maintaining a talent pool is crucial for districts like ISD 518. Through the Teacher Pathway and Future Teachers of America Club, Worthington is well on its way to a supporting strong foundation for both future teachers and a strong community.