Teacher Academy an early start on college
Teacher Academy seniors get an early start on college
Posted on 01/08/2013
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Seven prospective teachers have started their college careers early this week through the Teacher Academy at the Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy. Casey Born, Katherine Stiles, and Ari Van Winkle, seniors at Armuchee High School; Kaitlyn Smith and Emily Stripling, seniors at Coosa High School; Randi Ellis, a senor from Model High School; and Breanna Landers, a senior at Pepperell High School; started college early as a part of their Teacher Academy teacher training class at the College and Career Academy.  The high school seniors are taking EDU 2110 at Georgia Highlands College this semester to give them a head-start in their teaching career. The Teacher Academy program seeks to improve the pool of teachers available to staff the classrooms in our community in the future.   

The Teacher Academy is now in its third year.  In the program, first-year students participate in classroom work that provides an introduction into the education profession. In addition to the work they are doing in class, the first year students also get practical experience in elementary and middle school classrooms in Floyd County Schools.  Each Friday the students have a class in the Teacher Academy, they spend that time working with a teacher in a working classroom.  

Second-year students get an expanded opportunity to work in real classroom situations plus the option of taking courses for college credit. The second-year students participate in an internship where they work every other day in an real classroom. The senior students also have the option of taking the introductory education course at Georgia Highlands College to receive college credit. The post-secondary option that allows the second year students to attend college is a cooperative agreement between Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy and Georgia Highlands College. Over the course of this semester the seven second-year participants opting for the post-secondary class will attend the college class at Georgia Highlands College and continue working in their local classrooms in Floyd County Schools on Fridays.  Those seniors not electing to take the college class, will continue their internship in their assigned classrooms on Teacher Academy class days.   

Students participating in the Teacher Academy get a classroom introduction to teaching methodology plus significant classroom experience working with children in the classroom.  "The Teacher Academy graduates will enter college with classroom experience that many prospective teachers will not have until their senior year in college," stated Allison Burkhalter, instructor in the Teacher Academy.  "This is an experience that I would have loved to have when I was preparing to be a teacher."  

The Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy is a charter career academy that was developed as a community partnership between Floyd County Schools, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Georgia Highlands College and the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce.

Group Student Picture
Photo: left to right: Casey Born (AHS), Katherine Stiles (AHS), Ari VanWinkle (AHS), Breanna Landers (PHS), Kaitlyn Smith (CHS), Randi Ellis (MHS), and Emily Stripling (CHS).