FHN Grows the Next Generation of Teachers

Posted on 07/24/2019
FHN Grows the Next Generation of Teachers Through Educators Rising

Two 2019 FHN graduates competed in the National Educators Rising Competition in Dallas, Texas over the summer. Austin Shariff placed first in Lesson Planning and Delivery - Arts, and Abbey Seemes placed fifth in Lesson Planning and Delivery - Humanities. The pair competed together in a chapter event and won fourth place for an entry titled Inside Our Schools.

“Abbey and Austin both competed separately in an even called Lesson Planning and Delivery,” said Sara White, FACS teacher at FHN. “Abbey competed in the Humanities division; Austin in the Arts division.” The event required students to write a detailed lesson plan that aligned with state standards, record themselves using the lesson in front of an actual class, reflect on the implementation of the lesson, present their lesson in front of a panel of judges, and participate in a question and answer session. “It was a rigorous process, through which they dissected each and every decision they made in planning and implementation, and thought through what they could do differently next time to make it more effective for the students,” said White.

Both students were part of the District’s Pathways to Teaching program. The program offers dual credits to students completing their Education Foundations courses and 110-hour internship. Through this option, students can earn four credit hours through the University of Central Missouri and conditional honors points through FHSD.

Seemes received guidance from White from the very beginning of the project. “I learned so much when preparing for this competition - much more than I expected,” she said. “I was able to build relationships with other current and future teachers from all over the country, participate in amazing professional development break-out sessions, and learn more about myself as a future educator.”

Interning at Becky-David Elementary, Seemes was able to implement her lesson plan with her class under the watchful eye of White. “I was fortunate to be able to observe her as she taught the lesson, so we were then able to have meaningful follow-up conversations about what worked, what didn’t work, and what she could do differently next time,” said White. “Questions that reflective teachers ask themselves daily, if not hourly.”

Shariff’s steps were a little different. “As an extracurricular member of Educators Rising, who I wasn’t seeing in class, and because he was planning a choral music lesson, he bounced his planning ideas off of a music teacher he is connected to,” said White. “After he taught the lesson, we spent time on the reflection process and planning how to present to the judges.”

Together, Seemes and Shariff competed in an event titled “Inside Our Schools,” where they highlighted the community building efforts that have been taking place at FHN. “The idea was to showcase one innovative strategy that our school had put into place that has promoted student learning and engagement in a five minute video,” said Seemes. “Austin and I knew right away that we wanted our video to focus on the way Dr. Hostetler has helped our school create a strong, tight-knit community based around honoring dignity through our stories.” The video consisted of interviews of FHN students asked about the changes in the school and if they felt safe.

According to their website, Educators Rising provides “passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustains their interest in the profession, and helps them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators.” Focusing on students in high school, Educators Rising helps communities grow the next generation of teachers.

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