This is the first school year that Frenship has offered the Ready, Set, Teach program to students. It currently has an enrollment of ten students who are all getting a firsthand look at a career in education.
The first six-weeks consisted of students learning in a CTE classroom under the direction of Cassandra Duran, Family and Consumer Science teacher at FHS. Duran said that during these weeks the girls learned about many facets of education.
“They were learning about their own personal strengths and weaknesses, why they wanted to be an educator, the history of education, effective teachers and effective schools,” Duran said. “They also learned about classroom management, building relationships, safety and well-being of students, privacy laws, educational ethics, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and things like that.”
Duran said it was her goal to make sure the students were learning the basics, understanding the processes, and hearing from professionals in the education world.
“We had several guest speakers come in,” Duran said. “Mr. Sims, our assistant principal, came in to speak on Gifted and Talented learners, Mr. Martinez, our assistant principal, came in to speak on effective relationships for teachers and administrators, along with relationship building with students, and Mr. Hernandez, our principal, came to speak about our school and accountability.”
Duran said other people from around the school came to speak to the students as well, including an FHS Campus Intervention Specialist, a Special Education teacher, a Community in Schools liaison, and an instructional coach. Duran said this gave the students the perspective of several different types of education related careers.
“I believe every single lesson, guest speaker, and interaction we have had up to this point has helped them to be better prepared for their experiences in the classroom,” Duran said.
Duran explained that for the remainder of the school year, she will only meet with the students on Fridays when they will continue to learn.
“The rest of the school year we will continue to go over our curriculum on how learners learn, pedagogy, best practices for classroom learning, how to build effective lessons, assessments, building community support, careers in education and training, ongoing professional development, creating a personal career plan, and students will create a portfolio,” Duran said.
Duran said the students started learning in actual Frenship classrooms at the beginning of the second six weeks. Half of her students are in classrooms at Bennett Elementary and half are in classrooms at Frenship Middle School, and after fifteen weeks, they will switch.
“Students will work under the joint direction and supervision of exemplary educators in direct instructional roles with elementary and middle school students,” Duran said. “Students learn to lesson plan, direct individualized instruction and group activities, prepare instructional materials, develop materials for educational environments, and complete other responsibilities of teachers, trainers, paraprofessionals, or other educational personnel.”
Duran said at the end of the school year the students will be more prepared than most for the next steps in their careers in education.
“Students who are eighteen years old and have completed both the Principles of Education and Read, Set, Teach courses, apply for an Educational Aide Level 1 certificate based on our district approval procedures,” Duran said.
Duran explained that she is in awe of her students every single day.
“These girls never cease to amaze me,” Duran said. “They blow my mind with all their energy and encouragement for each other. I am truly blessed with an amazing group this year.”