Cadet Teaching program provides real-life job training

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By David Berstrom 2008

This spring, five CFHS girls are exploring education from the other side of the teacher’s desk.

Seniors Caitlin Hagarty, Kendra Holm, Emily Kline, Megan Potratz and Rachel Saul all participate in the cadet teaching program at Cedar Falls High School. Cadet teaching is a class where students spend part of their day in a teaching role. Kline and Saul teach third grade, Potratz teaches kindergarten and Hagarty teaches first grade at Cedar Heights Elementary School, while Holm teaches kindergarten at Hansen Elementary School.

Every day they take on the role of a teacher from 12:45 p.m. to about 4 p.m.

The young teachers work off of what the lead teacher has planned for them to do each day.

“I will probably go into elementary and become a second or third grade teacher. I’m already planning on taking college classes this fall,” Kline said.

Some cadet teaching participants are still weighing their options.

“I have not decided yet between being an elementary teacher or being a Christian faith counselor,” Saul said.

The cadet teachers have a routine schedule they follow to assist the teacher.

“I get there at about 12:45 and have lunch with them. Then we go back to our room and have some Daily Language Review (DLR) time. After we are done reading, we go to the computer lab and spend quite a bit of time there. We go back to the room and we start science, which we have been working with some crayfish lately. After that we have social studies and watch some videos for that. We have been having a lady come in to talk to the kids about how they can help in their community, and after she is gone, they read,” Kline said.

Saul has many duties, too. “I get there and correct and file papers, and then we read for about 20 to 30 minutes. We watch movies about science, read or allow the students to free-write, do DLR and then dismiss,” she said.

Discipline is sometimes the responsibility of the cadet teachers.

“My teacher, Mr. Hansel, takes care of the naughty students, but if he is gone, then I am the adult and the person in charge, so they have to obey me, and if they don’t I report them to him. One time the class got into trouble as a whole because they were passing notes all around, so as a punishment, they had recess taken away for the day,” Kline said.
There is no better reward than being the best class.

“Our third grade class was given a certificate for being the most obedient class in the school. So as a reward, the class was given one extra recess a month, and they could choose when they wanted it as long as it was OK with the teachers plans,” Kline said.

Rewards also come to the cadet teachers in the form of teaching accomplishments.

“One of the little kids was having some trouble with reading, and we read a big section, so that was a greatest achievement,” Saul said.

With all the work that is put into the day, enjoying the kids is a must.

“One of the funnest parts of the day is I decide when they leave to go home. I check their backpacks and make sure they are taking their books home they need and take their homework home as well. When I dismiss them, I choose how they leave, whoever has a birthday in this month or next month, who has this shoe size or this color of hair and I usually make them give me a high five before they leave. If they don’t give me a high five, then they don’t get to go,” Kline said.

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