I recently shared a series of blogs on some of the ways that teachers find their path to the profession and how we grow as teachers in the course of our careers. I’ve gotten so much amazing feedback from that series that I’ve decided to add to it with another perspective, this one focused on one of the outstanding and innovative programs at FCPS’s Career and Technology Center (CTC). When I talked with CTC Principal Michael Concepcion about a blog centered on the CTC’s Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM), he responded, “What a joy to observe our Teacher Academy students in action during their field internship. It’s amazing to see high school students teaching. They are well prepared, engaging, and dedicated to supporting the students they teach and the mentor teachers who supervise them. My hope is that upon completion of their post-secondary teacher program, our TAM students will come back to teach in Frederick County Public Schools.”
Please enjoy this guest blog by the FCPS CTC’s Teacher Academy of Maryland instructor and on-site coordinator Sally Huguley:
Teachers change lives. I can still remember the names of the teachers who changed mine: Jenny Shaffer, Tony Whitmore, Dennis Allen, Sophia Blaydes. They were classroom “rock stars,” whose high expectations, incredible intellect, and wit inspired me to become a teacher. Years later I still love teaching, love that connection when a student “gets it,” and love the dynamic environment in which ideas dance and we challenge each other. Spending my day interacting with students who want to be teachers is just one of the many joys of the Teacher Academy of Maryland.
TAM students share a common goal of wanting to change lives in the classroom and in the community at large. In the Teacher Academy, students learn about the education profession, both inside the classroom and beyond. Here are some examples of TAM students’ experiences.
TAM reinforced my dream of becoming a teacher. The Academy provided me with exceptional skills for creating lessons and with an invaluable internship. I want to make a difference in children’s lives, and-- thanks to TAM--I am better prepared to do so. -- Middletown High School senior Tara Kurtianyk
TAM has taught me that you do not have to be the most vocal or the most insistent to initiate change. Sometimes demonstrating good character, maintaining professional etiquette, and consistently concentrating on “the big picture” is enough to make a positive difference in your community and classroom. -- Brunswick High School senior Lily Burton
TAM is a year-and-a-half program that seeks to address the national teacher shortage by providing high school students an opportunity to pursue their interest in a career in education through college-level classwork, portfolio building, and an extended teaching experience.
The TAM curriculum emphasizes development of professional skills and knowledge of current trends in education. TAM students regularly interact with guest speakers to examine such topics as school law and ethics, cultural proficiency, best practices for effective teaching, and the role of technology. Upon completing the program, TAM students have earned college credit and are well ahead of their peers in terms of teacher preparedness.
Student intern Tyler Nelson put it this way: TAM has helped to further my path in education and has shown me how to connect in a professional way with others involved in education. The program has helped me grow as a lifelong learner. Without TAM I would be going to college less prepared about my field of study. TAM also gave me a place to connect with students who go to different high schools in the county. This program felt like a second home.
Students interested in TAM should see their school counselor to schedule a time to shadow the program. Come join TAM and make a difference!