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Teaching as a Profession students get hands-on experience with CDC class

Teaching as a Profession students get hands-on experience with CDC class

Students in the Teaching as a Profession course have been getting unique opportunities and hands-on experience since the program’s inception during the 2021-2022 school year. But recently they were able to get a new experience, teaching inside a comprehensive development classroom with students who learn differently.

Science Hill TAP teacher Wendy Whitmore spent the first half of the semester with her TAP I students learning about diverse populations, legal elements of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as showing the students different teaching strategies and lesson planning. Students were then able to put these ideas into practice with the unique opportunity of teaching the CDC class about economics.

“I love it,” Science Hill senior James Mowder said about working in the CDC classroom. “This is something that I am seriously thinking about going into. Getting this experience is great because I get to see what the classroom is like and see what the students are like. I feel like this has definitely helped in my thought process of what (career) I’d like to go into.”

Mowder spent the summer at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga for Governor’s School, staying a month in the dorms at UTC and earning credit toward his EDU-2010 (Intro to Education). However, the experience of working with CDC students solidified his future plans of becoming a teacher.

“I really like helping people,” Mowder said. “My first goal in life was to be an EMT, but I couldn’t handle the blood. Then I found a love in teaching whenever I was in 10th-grade geometry, through tutoring kids. It’s just been my career goal ever since then.”

Science Hill sophomore Mia Carter said that she also really enjoyed the experience of helping the CDC students with their economics lessons.

“I love doing this,” Carter said through a smile. “It helps me see a different perspective on teaching. I want to teach elementary, but this is a great way to see other areas and how different students are able to learn. Through my short time in this program, I have already learned that when you’re a teacher you have to pay attention to how different students learn the best and meet their needs to help them become the best student they can be.”

Just stepping into the classroom, it was easy to see the excitement. Science Hill CDC teacher Tracey Coggins said she was so proud of both sets of students.

“The TAP students did such an amazing job,” Coggins said. “They had hands-on material, technology, role play. You name it, they were all over it.” 

Whitmore was also proud of her students, who have been getting to experience different aspects of classrooms across Johnson City Schools.

“The real-world partnerships with our CDC classrooms, as well as the TAP partnerships with North Side Elementary, South Side Elementary, Towne Acres Elementary, Woodland Elementary, and Liberty Bell Middle School, help future teachers marry the content of our TAP course with the joys and challenges of classroom life,” Whitmore said. “While learning about teaching strategies and specific educational policies are vital to a thriving educational environment, the daily interactions with students provide the most helpful feedback on learning the art and science of teaching. My students are fortunate to learn from some of the best teachers and students around.”

Helping students become the best versions of themselves is also something that Science Hill junior Cassie Rogers said she was looking forward to and is the reason she will pursue a career in teaching. She credits the TAP class for uncovering that career.

“I definitely don’t think I would have gone into teaching if I didn’t have this class,” Rogers said. “My advice for students would be, don’t be afraid to try new classes,” Rogers said. “Because you never know if it is something that you might be interested in. Teaching isn’t something that I thought I would be interested in, but now that I’ve tried it I know it will be my career.”