Western High School has program giving students a jumpstart on teaching career

BALTIMORE – At Western High School in Baltimore, there is a program helping students get a jumpstart on a teaching career before they graduate. 

Saniah Brown and Iyana Hood are taking courses in the Teacher Academy of Maryland.

“So I chose this class because I love children and I wanted to be a teacher,” Brown said.

“I wanted to be a family doctor because I enjoy family, life and especially children,” Hood added.

And though they aren’t teachers when they graduate high school, the classes they take will go toward their college credits and help them get on a pathway to becoming an educator.

Once they are in the classroom, either observing or actually observing, or actually teaching, it is transformational for them,” said Jacqueline Krikorian, Teacher Academy of Maryland at Western High School). It really helps them see how they benefit students.” 

 They get to see and learn what it takes to become a teacher. 

“Once they learn about all the issues surrounding teaching, the teacher shortage, for example, and really put on that teacher’s hat and see education from the teachers perspective, they gain new insights and perspectives that they’ve never had before,” Krikorian said.

Monica Dailey, Western High School’s assistant principal, is an alumnus of the program.

She remembers this classroom experience layered with other courses focused on science, technology, math, the arts, engineering and more.

“And to see this academy and the students in this academy have aspirations to know that there’s a teacher shortage nationwide and to fuel this pipeline that has a grave need is a motivation to come to work every day and give all we can for our doves,” Dailey said.