‘Future teachers’

CCS career tech program training the next generation of educators

Cullman City Schools students work with other students as part of the district's Teaching and Training Program that aims to inspire and train up a new generation of educators.

CULLMAN, Ala. – It’s no secret America is suffering from a shortage of teachers for the next generation, but a career tech program in Cullman City Schools is aiming to help address that need locally — and hopefully inspire some future educators to lead the next generation.

As part of Cullman City Schools’ expansive career tech offerings, the system offers a Teacher and Training program pathway, which allows students to learn about what’s involved in being an educator and prepare them if they plan to pursue that course of study in college.

The Teaching and Training Program provides an overview of teaching and learning theories, curriculum development, teaching techniques and instructional resources. The program is aimed at students interested in careers in elementary, middle and secondary education.

Students in the Teaching I, Teaching II and Internship classes are assigned a teacher and class for the entire year. This hands-on process allows them to see different methods of instruction while taking on a more assistive instructional role in the classroom. Students in the upper-level classes of the program have the opportunity to provide one-on-one instruction with students needing additional assistance, small group instruction, assist in whole class instruction and even lead classroom instruction.

“Ultimately, our goal is to develop strong teachers and leaders who will come back to the Cullman area to teach our students to be future teachers and leaders,” Cullman High School’s Amy Gleaton said. “We know that not all students in our program will become teachers. However, this program also builds a sense of community and service of others. Our students also find confidence within themselves as they assist others in their process to success.”

The Teaching and Training program began four years ago and has grown to include 87 students. The program also features a partnership with Wallace State Community College to offer dual enrollment credit for the Child Development course within the program at no cost to students through a WSCC Workforce Development grant.

“Like many other states, Alabama is experiencing a teacher shortage and a renewed focus has been placed on the recruitment of new talent to pursue careers in the education field. Our Teaching and Training program’s number one goal is to grow the future educator talent pool,” Lindsay Brannon, Cullman City Schools Secondary Curriculum and CTE coordinator, said. “We do this by utilizing a combination of classroom instruction and work-based learning that provides students with principles of effective teaching and training practices. Students learn to plan and direct individualized instruction and group activities, prepare instructional materials and complete other responsibilities of teachers, paraprofessionals or other educational personnel.”

Cullman City Schools students work with other students as part of the district’s Teaching and Training Program that aims to inspire and train up a new generation of educators.