One of the things that makes Springdale High School special is the academies. Students at SHS have over five different academies to choose from. One of the academies available is the teaching academy. The teaching academy has 60-75 student and is lead by four teachers: Lacy Henson, Katie Grigg, Lendsey Harlin and Karrie Hutchins, Hutchins also being the head of the teaching academy. Hutchins is an ‘87 SHS graduate and has taught at SHS for 14 years.
The teaching academy is for anyone who might be interested in having a future teaching kids K-12. Mrs. Hutchins personally thinks the reason why students should join the teaching academy is because “At any job you are teaching somebody something.”
One of the goals of the teaching academy is to provide students with real world experiences. One of the ways students get to experience this is by shadowing an elementary or high school teacher for 4-6 weeks while getting to work with the students in their classroom.
Hutchins explains the joyful time that she received a email from a teacher over at Lee Elementary about how Ruby Ann, a teaching academy student, helped two students in her classroom that wouldn’t want to work with other students at all to eventually wanting to work with other student in the classroom.
Another way students get to experience the real world is by working with the special education students right down the hallway from the teaching academy. The goal of providing this experience for students is to let them learn how the school system works and operates but the teaching academy doesn’t just provide you with real world experiences, it also provides you with certifications that are useful in the workforce after high school. Students will be certified in CPR, so if an emergency ever occurs they know how to take action. As well as a paraprofessional, this allows you to work with special education students and help them with everyday needs, be a library aid or an instructional assistant. By having these skills and certifications the teaching academy hopes students learn how to have an open mind, become reliable and try new things.
Because of the things the teaching academy teaches its students, Hutchins said one of the most rewarding things as a teacher is to see the students you taught pursue a career in education. She specifically describes how Sarah Beerden , an Instructional Facilitator at Elmdale Elementary was awarded the Elmdale Teacher of the year award a few years ago and how proud that made her. Hutchins hopes that parents and people know how much the kids at SHS are loved and how teachers at SHS treat their students often with the same kind of love and respect as they would their own children. At the end of the day that is what Hutchison would hope for everyone that teaches would love their job and their students.