• Photo of Fort student working with Ogden students
  • Photo of Fort student working with Ogden students

Pictured above: Alexandra Mayo and Scully Falcon-Rosas work with students at Ogden Elementary School.

Careers in Education program to return in fall 2018

Alexandra Mayo has a plan for what she’ll do after she graduates from the Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies. First: Washington State University Vancouver. And then:

“I think I’m most excited to have my own classroom and be able to teach kids about history. I think my teaching style will be fun and creative but still bring back older tactics that teachers have used.”

Alexandra is that much closer to reaching her dream thanks to a class called Careers in Education. That includes jobs beyond the classroom. Teacher Megan St. Clair explains:

“Even if you are working in some type of industry where you are teaching but not necessarily becoming a teacher, it may be something that you’re interested in because it helps you plan and understand why it is that teachers do what they do, but it also gives you opportunities to implement what we learn. Some people want to work as nurses or with young kids in hospitals, and they take the class so that they learn how to communicate and plan with younger children.”

You might remember that Careers in Education used to be a program of choice at Hudson’s Bay High School. Elizabeth Janney is an alum of the original program and went on to teach at Washington Elementary after she graduated from college. For her, working with kids of all ages helped her narrow her teaching focus long before she left Bay. It was powerful for her to learn the mechanics and theory of teaching and then reflect on what she’d experienced. In one assignment, she had to write out her educational philosophy.

“Some of the things I wrote about, reflecting on my own teaching, is still the same today, or I’m noticing that growth.

“Acceptance is one of the first things I wrote in here. When I can show that I’m accepting of them and who they are and what they value, then they can share that same relationship with me and with other kids in the classroom.

“We talk about growth mindset and how we can be supportive of each other, what words can we use.

“Encouragement, positive, supportive, welcoming, reaching their goals. That lightbulb moment, when they figure it out or when they get excited about something, that’s why I’m here. That’s why I teach.”

Despite the advantages of the program, enrollment declined. Eventually it was whittled down to a single class. But now we’re bringing it back for the 2018-19 school year. It’s going to be better than ever. Students from all over the district will have opportunities to work in classrooms and see the other side of their educational experience, as Alexandra explains:

“It’s really fun. You get to see a new perspective. Being a student, you don’t think about the teacher’s side of everything, what they have to do to prepare for the day or actually do.”

Students who complete the program also will gain a clearer path to college and employment, with opportunities to earn credits, get help studying for the state’s paraeducator exam and receive priority interview status with VPS after they graduate.

Our students have incredible potential to lead and grow their schools, the district and the community as our future educators. Through Careers in Education, we can help them get there.

Take care,

Image: Steve's signature