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Teacher Academy Offers Pathway for Future Teachers

Cape High teacher Linda Marvel said she is excited there is a new program intended to cultivate a pool of new teachers. The teaching pathway is the latest to join other learning pathways for high school students to choose.

“This gives more student opportunities. Some will earn dual credits through Delaware Tech or Wilmington University,” she said.

Marvel said Cape High has a great give-and-take among teachers who are always on the lookout for students who would make future teachers. This fall, she said, there are 120 students already signed up for six human growth and development classes as part of the K-12 education pathway. Many are freshmen who will take more classes throughout their four years – classes on curriculum and instruction, psychology and exceptional children, to name a few.

By senior year, she said, students have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants in the classroom for real-world experience.

Luke Rhine, director of career and technical education/science, technology, engineering and mathematics for the Delaware Department of Education, said high school students will complete the education pathway by taking a state test – known as the Praxis test – that all teachers and paraprofessionals must take before they are hired for full-time employment.

“Students will be able to do their Praxis and can go out and teach as a para,” he said.

Other students will be able to pursue teaching degrees at higher education institutions within the state, he said.

Cape High is one of 15 Delaware schools that is offering an education program for the 2017-18 school year. On June 19, state school officials kicked off the K12 Teacher Academy with workshops and plenty of encouragement.

Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown, said she still keeps in touch with many of her students from her days of teaching.

“You never know how you're going to touch a life,” she said.

Rep. Harvey Kenton, R-Milford, said he has great respect for teachers who find ways to reach students and help them learn. “I call you motivators,” he said.

Rep. Earl Jacques, D-Glasgow, said the state is working on several ways to improve education in the state, such as increasing graduation rates and reducing assessments in favor of more classroom teaching time.

Legislators are also working to help middle-class students pay for college expenses.

“We're looking at college affordability, and we're going to find some solution,” he said.

Rita Hovermale of the Delaware Department of Education said she expects more schools will offer the Teacher Academy in addition to the 15 schools that have already signed on.

“If each of those 15 schools only offers one class, that's a potential of nearly 500 new members of the education workforce each year,” she said.

Melissa Steele, Cape Gazette