Five Long County High School students recently took their first steps toward becoming teachers by completing the school’s Tide to Teachers program.
The students were juniors Parker Bange, Taylor Milton and Breanne Gossenback and seniors Tianna Bell and Chrislyn Denton-Warren.
“Our hopes are to get these students excited about the teaching profession,” said Brian Thomas, the school’s work-based learning coordinator.
According to Thomas, this was the first year Tide to Teachers was offered at the high school. To qualify, students had to complete the early childhood education pathway and be accepted in the work-based learning program.
Once this was completed, each student was placed in a classroom at Smiley Elementary School to observe and assist a teacher.
Thomas said the primary area in which high schoolers will work with the younger students is in small group activities. He said they will work in the class for a little more than an hour and will be there for the remainder of the school year.
“The earlier that we can get prospective teachers into the classroom, the more prepared they will be once they get to their major classes in college,” Thomas said.
The instructor for the early childhood education pathway is Bethany Gilliam.
Thomas had nothing but praise for Gilliam and the students.
“We are very excited about the teachers that will be at Smiley,” he said. “They are all excellent students and very motivated. I know that they will do great.”