‘Ready Set Teach’ program creates education career opportunities for students

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Jennifer DeLano

While socially distancing on the Boyer Elementary playground, members of the “Ready Set Teach” gather before students arrive. “Ready Set Teach” students have multiple opportunities to volunteer at “Kids Camps” throughout the year. “‘Kids Camps’ are one of the most challenging and rewarding situations that I have ever been in,” junior Alivia Didonato said. “It is chaotic yet enjoyable.” Junior Rowan Abrams, senior Emma Debons, senior Ashley Warren, senior Kendall James, junior Morgan Reese, senior Rylee Withers, junior Londyn Ogletree, senior Amari Granados, senior Christy Escobar, senior Claire Vance, senior Aiden Nuzzi, senior Julia Camilleri, senior Hannah Shields and senior Ally Schnagl joined this preparation time.

Morgan Reese and Christy Escobar

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Ready Set Teach program explores the education career field through hands-on experience and internships, and students can join the program through course selection due Feb. 5.

The “Ready Set Teach” class is a double-blocked period that meets at the same time each school day. Students in the program attend an internship at an elementary or middle school to learn how to pursue a career in education. The prerequisite for Ready Set Teach I is the Human Growth and Development class, but students can take both classes at the same time. For students interested in the program, select “Instructional Practices I” in course selection at Skyward.

After their first day of internship this year, “Ready Set Teach II” seniors Emma DeBons, Rylee Withers, Emma Dixon, Claire Vance, Ally Schngal and Emily Moreno gather. Because of COVID-19, the start of internships was delayed. COVID-19 restrictions also dictated that students must work with students in classes higher than fourth grade.

“I joined Ready Set Teach because I have always wanted to be there for someone when they needed that person,” program member junior Alivia Didonato said. “I know that high school is hard, so to have someone that you can trust can be the difference between life or death.”

Didonato interns in a sixth-grade math class at Reynolds Middle School, and she said she is interested in teaching high school in the future.

“I leave my internship class with a smile and a renewed energy for the day,” senior Claire Vance said. “I’m looking forward to having a classroom of my own to shape new and growing minds.”

Even if a student is not sure if they want to become a teacher or of what they want to teach, Vance said she would suggest taking the class anyway.

“I began my junior year certain that I wanted to be a music teacher,” Vance said. “Once I was (interning) in the middle school band class and got some experience, I was able to see that music wasn’t the right fit for me. After doing a guided reading lesson one day in first grade, I quickly learned that I love the younger grades. This went against what I had previously thought, but I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t take the class.”

As a project to liven up the portable building, junior Skyler Stubblefield creates a bulletin board. At the beginning of the year, the “Ready Set Teach” classes decorated the portable building with bulletin boards and wallpaper. Stubblefield and junior Amy Gillespe entered the project into Region competition and will now compete in the upcoming State competition. (Jennifer DeLano)

Ready Set Teach instructor Jennifer DeLano said skills learned from the program can benefit students in many career paths other than education, including counseling, coaching and leadership.

“Here are some skills that you will develop as part of RST: public speaking, communicating complex info, project management, independent and collaborative work experience, instructional design and remote work experience,” DeLano said.

As a part of the program, students also have the opportunity to volunteer at “Kids Camp,” a school district childcare program to take care of teacher’s children on staff development days. Volunteering at “Kids Camp” allows students to earn an “Intent to Interview” with Prosper Independent School District, which guarantees them an interview if they wish to return to PISD after they earn their degree.

“‘Kids Camps’ are one of the most challenging and rewarding situations that I have ever been in. It’s chaotic but yet enjoyable,” Didonato said. “The kids you spend these long days with are going to make you laugh and pull your hair out. You can watch a child go from being extremely shy to being sad to leave  ‘Kids Camp.’ It is truly an amazing experience, and it gives you so many life skills.”