Training Tomorrow’s Teachers at T.C. Williams

Did you know that T.C. Williams High School launched a teacher cadet program, Teachers for Tomorrow, during the 2016-17 school year? The program is part of the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow initiative, which seeks to identify, train and nurture high school students interested in a teaching career.

Teachers for Tomorrow offers students the opportunity to learn and experience what it is like to be a teacher. Students engage in classroom observations, participate in hands-on learning activities and gain teaching experience—all as part of the high school curriculum.

Ten students were invited to participate in this innovative program, which is part of an effort to grow our own future teachers from within.

The cadet teachers see students in the classroom and reflect on their own learning experiences. These experiences are so fresh that they find they can really relate to the students and better understand how to teach them,” said Kimberly Wilson, program instructor for Teachers for Tomorrow at T.C.

The course gives the students a chance not only to learn about the general requirements to become a teacher, but they also learn workplace readiness skills. They are taught how to create lesson plans, define learning objectives and interact with students through hands-on classroom experience.

By engaging students in classroom observations and field experiences in the middle school classrooms, teacher cadets learn about differentiated teaching and specific learning needs.

Class conversations included discussions of different teaching styles and an exploration of who the students are as individuals and who they want to be as teachers. Students also gave presentations and had impromptu speaking opportunities to help them become more comfortable with speaking in front of other people.

My goal is that in growing our own, they will come back to teach in ACPS after they graduate from college,” said Wilson.

Almost twenty students have already registered for the course in the fall. Teachers for Tomorrow is available to juniors and seniors. Learn more on page 68 of the Program of Studies.

ACPS, Alexandria City High School