Early Educators

Everyone appreciates the importance of teachers in the world. They directly impact the lives of children in their most impressionable years, giving them the ability to manage their time wisely, learn how to deal with the stressors of school, study tips, etc. Teachers determine how these kids deal with it all.

But who teaches the teachers? Who prepares the great educators of the world to handle the responsibility of caring for their students? While of course college programs exist that handle this exact purpose, students at Pinnacle High School (PHS) who want to go down the route of becoming a teacher decide to get an early start.  PHS teacher Karen Downs, instructor of the Teacher Academy at Pinnacle for th past six years, explained that her students travel every day from her class to neighboring schools, such as Fireside, Explorer and Wildfire, working as teacher’s assistants and helping the grade school students. 

“I’ve taught kindergarten, 6th grade, 5th grade, middle school and now highschool”, said Downs, “but I’ve taught Teacher Academy for 6 years.” 

Students who take the class seriously as opposed to just taking it for an easy credit make a big difference in the energy and productivity of the class. Downs believes all her students have a bright future in education, should they choose to go down that path.

Junior Makayla Blakely, a first year student of the class, plans to take the class again next year and hopes this aids her decision-making on her future in education. 

“{I’ve learned} how important it is to teach a child well as they’re growing up,”  said Blakely.  “Every action has an impact on their future.”

Students most likely know about competitions in classes such as culinary or photography, but many people don’t not know that the Teacher Academy competes as well. 

“It’s called State Conference,” said Downs. “We compete every spring against over 500 other students.” 

In the competitions, students participate in a multitude of events, such as creating a lesson plan or designing a project according to their chosen category, and then they present it to a panel of judges.

“Pinnacle has always won in the category we go for,” Downs said, describing all five years Pinnacle competed. “We typically go for ‘Early Child Education’. 

Despite Pinnacle competing as the smallest chapter at any competition they decide to attend, they show up as a force to be reckoned with. Overall, the class provides a great experience and start for any student with an interest in education or working with children.