Teenagers are being developed as teachers

In the Career and Technical Education building at Fauquier High School, students engage in various hands-on experiences, from woodworking and cooking to car maintenance. However, in Nancy Nye’s classroom, a unique opportunity is offered: high school students run a working preschool.

Nye’s Early Childhood Education class provides students with practical teaching experience. They lead lessons, manage unruly preschoolers, and learn essential skills like setting boundaries.

These high schoolers have completed a prerequisite course with Ms. Nye and are interested in careers ranging from teaching to physical therapy. According to Nye, real-world experience is invaluable, as classroom dynamics can’t be fully grasped without hands-on practice. Clara, an aspiring teacher, finds the interaction with preschoolers enlightening for her future career prospects.

The preschoolers, aged 3-4, are local children whose parents are informed about the program through word of mouth. The high schoolers warmly greet them at drop-off, setting a positive tone for the day.

During the initial weeks, Nye observes the high schoolers’ interactions with the preschoolers and assigns each teen to a few children based on their personalities. Activities like fine motor skill development and personalized attention help both students and preschoolers grow.

High school students take turns leading weekly lessons with themes like letters of the alphabet. This responsibility fosters a sense of empowerment and growth for the teens.

On Fridays, the preschool is closed for reflection and planning for the upcoming week. Students reflect on their progress and discuss areas they aim to improve.

Many high school participants in the preschool program continue on to the Teach for Tomorrow initiative at Fauquier High School. This program offers hands-on teaching experience and promises employment in Fauquier County Schools after undergraduate studies.

Ms. Nye sees this pipeline as crucial in addressing the need for qualified teachers. She guides students in pursuing teaching as a career to meet the demand for educators in Fauquier County and beyond.

Fauquier High School

Public, Suburban
Grades 9-12
Warrenton, VA

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