Students learn to teach at elementary schools under Slemmons


Ryan Sheely

Principles of Education decorates snowflakes

Ryan Sheely

Under the direction of CTE teacher Betsy Slemmons, Principles of Education and Instructional Practices in Education students are learning how to teach at neighboring elementary schools. Slemmons teaches these classes to help shape the minds of future teachers and inspire a passion for education.

“I wanted a career where I can make a difference and feel rewarded at the end of the day,” Slemmons said. “My mom was a teacher, and I always played teacher whenever I was growing up, so I saw her and I just played school whenever I got home from school.”

Slemmons’ students enjoy and care about teaching. Senior Ryan Hernandez-Torres is interested in becoming a teacher and is currently student teaching at Carpenter Hill Elementary.  

“The idea of being a teacher and an educator excited me, just seeing the environment in the classrooms when I was in middle school and growing up,” Hernandez-Torres said. “I began to see teaching was sort of a job that I wanted to be a part of because it’s you educating students and shaping their minds.”

Through the student teaching program, Hernandez-Torres found out that you must have lots of patience with the students they are working with.

“I’ve learned that you have to have a lot of patience and you have to be understanding to know that this means we’re in a different generation,” Hernandez-Torres said. “They learn differently and you have to take time to practice with that and to just have as much patience as you can with them.”

Student teaching isn’t a walk in the park, as there are many challenges that come with the job. Junior Nicole Kimmons has had to switch up her mindset when working at the schools.

“You have to adapt pretty easily, and I’m not one with change, I’m not great with it,” Kimmons said. “I’ve had some times where I’ve had to change a lot.”

Not all of Slemmons’ students are sure that they want to make teaching their career, like senior Ximema Rodriguez, but if she was going to teach, she would be a special needs teacher.

“I have always liked being around kids and liked learning things along the way with them,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not really all about teaching them, but being there for them emotionally and just being another person in their life and helping them.”

Juniors and seniors are not the only ones looking to gain teaching experience.

In the beginner class Principles of Education, sophomore Tillie Giberson shows great interest in becoming a teacher.

“I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in kindergarten, so it’s always been a passion of mine,” Giberson said. “I really like how interactive it is.”