Students from all three Lee’s Summit R-7 middle schools recently participated in a field trip designed to help them learn about career opportunities in education. Through the new Lee’s Summit Teacher Academy, seventh- and eighth-grade students hear presentations and participate in hands-on activities designed to help them learn more about teaching.
The students’ first stop was Great Beginnings Early Education Center. The Teacher Academy members helped greet the preschool students and then observed teachers in classrooms during morning instruction time. The middle-school students also learned about the other professionals who work at Great Beginnings including paraprofessionals, occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, certified parent educators and interventionists.
Jeanie Cook, assistant principal of Great Beginnings, led a question and answer session. The students learned about the different certifications necessary for these jobs and what career path might be best for them.
The students also visited the cadet teacher program at Summit Technology Academy. Offered by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, this program provides high-school seniors with an opportunity to earn dual college by serving in a classroom setting during the school year.
The cadet teachers shared with the middle-school students what they’ve learned throughout this year and how the program has helped them make important decisions about which college to attend and which degree to pursue.
“Allowing the middle school students to hear about the rewarding experiences the cadet teachers have had this year was priceless,” said Jennifer Yates, sponsor of Lee’s Summit Teacher Academy at Campbell Middle School. “These future educators were passionate about wanting to pursue a degree in education because of the impact they have already had by helping children succeed in their assigned classroom, and I believe we will see several of these seventh- and eighth-graders follow in their footsteps.”
The Teacher Academy members have partnered throughout the school year with nearby elementary schools and assisted elementary teachers by reading with students, practicing math facts and preparing for upcoming projects.