CEDAR HILL – Cedar Hill High School senior Jayda Erwin has known for quite a while that she wants to be a Kindergarten teacher someday.
“Participating in the Ready, Set, Teach program has bolstered my aspirations of becoming a teacher,” Erwin said. “Experiencing the day-to-day life of an educator proved that being a teacher is the perfect career for me. I learned various methods of teaching that I intend to implement in my own future classroom.”
Erwin is one of approximately 60 Cedar Hill High School scholars who are part of the campus’ program where “Education Training” is their endorsement.
In a regular year, scholars like Erwin would be assigned to an elementary classroom and gain valuable experience. But like most things, COVID-19, has changed the logistics of those plans.
Ready Set Teach teacher Erica Bates and CHISD Coordinator of Advanced Academics Natalie Garrett brainstormed for some ideas, and they came up with virtual tutoring. The program scholars began tutoring their elementary counterparts via online tutoring in a variety of subjects on Monday.
“We are trying to find a safe way to continue the program and get the most out of it,” Bates said. “It is unfortunate that they are not getting the classroom experience. But like we have told the scholars, you have to be flexible, adaptable and safe.”
Anthony Conley, a senior, said he hopes to become a band director, either in high school or college. He said he’s looking forward to being part of the virtual tutoring program.
“I feel that the virtual tutoring program is going to be a very different but good experience,” Conley said. “This will help me get better at adjusting to different environments when it comes to teaching and I think I’ll learn to adapt better to various types of instruction.”
Bates is in her fifth year with the program. When she arrived, there were only six scholars in the program. She helped increase it 10-fold by promoting the program on campus and in meetings with eighth grade scholars at Bessie Coleman and Permenter middle schools. The addition of a Texas Association of Future Educators chapter has helped as well.
The first group of seniors to graduate from the program are graduating or close to graduating from college, and Bates has kept in touch with those CHHS graduates.
She said she wished that a program like “Ready, Set, Teach” had existed when she was a high school scholar in rural northeast Louisiana.