Cool at School: Student-teachers gain hands-on experience

LAS VEGAS - East Career and Technical Academy is training the teachers of tomorrow while they are still students in this week’s What's Cool at School.

The future leaders of our kids’ classrooms are still kids themselves. At East Career and Technical Academy, they are already training for careers in education.

"I've always loved kids. I like kids a lot, and I feel like it's giving back to the community to teach kids,” junior Jamie Stevens said.

More than 200 students are in this teacher training program. 8 News NOW caught up with a class of juniors learning how to lesson-plan.

"The lesson plans, it's like a chart for you to follow, and that helps you be prepared in life, to be mentally ready, to be physically ready," junior Carlos Lainez said.

Students teach to the five domains: language, social/emotional, physical health, cognitive and creative expression.

Their future students will be 3 to 5-years-old. So, everything at the student-teachers’ disposal is used to mold young minds – from Play-Doh, to games, to a plastic fishing pole to help kids learn the alphabet.

"It's super fun, because we come up with activities that we would like to do, and we just put it at the level of a preschooler," Stevens said.

"It's pretty fun, because you get to use what comes out of your mind,” Lainez said. “You get to be very creative."

A program called Tiny Titans brings real experience. It's a pre-school lab where, three times a week, 20 pre-kindergarten kids give these high-schoolers the opportunity to hone their skills.

"You need to be super patient, because, sometimes, they don't know how to get across how they're feeling," Stevens said.

"We hope that our preschoolers will get a good start and become lifelong learners, and I hope that my students will be lifelong teachers," said early childhood education instructor Linda Bouch.

Former East Career and Technical Academy student Brittany Berrelleza, now at UNLV, came back to encourage these juniors on their path.

"The kids I work with now, they are rewarding,” she said. “Just seeing them smile and continue and push every day in life is really amazing."

These students will one day address the needs of young children, promoting their growth and development.

“When they come back to visit me and tell me that they got their credential, and they're teaching second grade, that's awesome," Bouch said.

That's What's Cool at School.

If you wish to nominate a program for What’s Cool at School, visit our website or e-mail us. You can also vote for your favorite What’s Cool at School story.


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