Teacher Cadets coming soon
Teacher Cadets program coming soon to Henry Sibley High School
Posted on 07/26/2016

Teacher CadetsLike many other states, Minnesota is facing a shortfall of licensed and capable teachers. And in an effort to recruit more high-achieving students to the field of education, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is preparing to launch the Teacher Cadets training program—an innovative teacher recruitment program that introduces high school students to teaching through a rigorous, dual credit accrual high school course.

On June 28-30, 40 of Minnesota’s family and consumer science (FACS) teachers underwent training on Teacher Cadets. Among them was Henry Sibley High School FACS teacher Linda Zurn.

“I came away from the training very impressed by the Teacher Cadets curriculum,” said Zurn. “The program is engaging for students and provides actual experience observing and teaching in classrooms.”

In addition to inspiring the next wave of talented teachers through classroom experiences, Teacher Cadets also offers high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn up to three college credits from Minnesota universities.

The program has a natural fit at Henry Sibley, thanks to a district-wide focus on providing new avenues for students to pursue their interests while preparing them for college or careers after graduation.

“We continue to seek out opportunities for students to have authentic, career-related experiences in high school,” said Kate Skappel, curriculum coordinator for District 197. “The Teacher Cadets program will put our high school students in classrooms to gain real-life teaching experience before moving on to pursue a career in education.”

While state-wide implementation of the Teacher Cadets program—and the opportunity to earn college credit through it—is currently slated for the 2017-18 school year, Zurn is hoping to introduce many elements of the program a year early through her Child Psychology II course.

“The Child Psychology II course has many of the same learning objectives as Teacher Cadets,” said Zurn. “I have talked to students about entering the education field in class before, but I am looking forward to having these conversations structured around the learning objectives of this course.”

Already in place in 39 other states, the Teacher Cadets program goes beyond classroom instruction to also provide students with insight into the nature of teaching, the challenges associated with schooling, and the critical issues affecting education in America’s schools.

Prior to start of the 2016-17 school year, MDE identified 24 curriculum areas with shortages—in addition to the grade levels and geographic regions where it had previously designated teacher shortages. Among those curriculum areas were: Business Education, Chemistry, English as a Second Language, Family and Consumer Science, Mathematics, Middle Level Science (Grades 5-8), Physics, Reading, School Psychologist, Special Education, Technology Education, and World Languages and Cultures.

More information regarding the Teacher Cadet program is available here.