Photo by Kimberly Neri
The LHS Introduction to Teaching course has recently been recognized as a dual-credit class through LCSC.
According to Kayline Roby, the LHS college and career counselor, her office tries to expand dual-credit offerings for students every year. The process of making Introduction to Teaching into a dual-credit course started last school year, and was finalized in the summer of 2018 with Molly Hendrickson, this year’s teacher for the LHS course.
“I decided to enroll in Introduction to Teaching because I wanted to see if teaching was something I’d like.”
The Introduction to Teaching course prepares students who are interested in teaching as their future career.
“Observing teachers and seeing a classroom from [a teacher’s] perspective is a lot different than actually being in the class as a student.”
The class aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of the nature of teaching through observation-based field experience, according to Hendrickson. Students also investigate the critical issues affecting the quality of American education. Issues include the importance of education and teaching, the purpose of schools, teaching orientations and styles, trends in education, international influences on American education, the changing nature of American education, the administration and governance of schools, school funding, social issues affecting education and learning, schools and their environs, and education in other societies.
According to Hendrickson, the course could help students to determine if they truly want to pursue teaching. Through their classwork and through observation in a 20-hour practicum, students learn what it’s like on the teacher’s side of the classroom, as well as what to expect when teaching.
“…a lot more goes into lessons than I first thought. Teachers have to craft the way they talk and interact with students to fit the class.”
Especially during classroom observations, teaching students are expected to be mature and committed to take this college-level course, Hendrickson said. They also must have the ability to drive a vehicle to local schools and the willingness to do a lot of reading. One challenge in this course for LHS students, she said, is that they must have the availability to have a double-block schedule for the class: one allotted for the class taught in the classroom, and the other for the practicum time outside the class.
As of 2015, all LHS dual-credit classes go through Lewis-Clark State College. Roby said she strongly encourages students to check with their school counselor to check and see which of their college credits will transfer to different colleges and universities.
“No matter where students go, credits will probably transfer into something out of state,” Roby said. “Even if credits won’t transfer over for the exact same classes, they most likely would be transferred as electives.”