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LHS Students Prep for Careers in Teaching

Nov. 11, 2021

Whether it's working with elementary school students on a reading assignment or guiding middle school students through math problems, Lindbergh High School students are getting the chance to work alongside teachers and learn more about the teaching profession. These students are enrolled in a year-long program from the Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), which has an emphasis for students to gain real-world experience in their anticipated career field.

Teaching Careers in Education is a CAPS program based at Sappington Elementary School. The class is made up of 14 seniors and juniors from Lindbergh, Fox, Kirkwood, Oakville and Seckman high schools. In addition to the Careers in Teaching strand, there are four other St. Louis area CAPS programs, each containing students from all over the region: Global Business and Entrepreneurship; Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing; Medicine, Health Care and Bioscience; and Technology Solutions and Logistics.

Students learn directly from business and industry professionals in authentic workspaces, including medical labs, engineering firms and small business incubators. CAPS participants are immersed in a professional culture, using industry standards, teamwork, critical thinking and creativity to solve real-world problems.

This is the second year that LHS students have been able to participate in the program. LHS FACS teacher Erin McGrath is a part-time teacher for the program, and started teaching the CAPS students last year.

“We do everything from the history of education to working with students in the classroom all over Lindbergh Schools,” McGrath said. “We work all over South County.”

On Wednesday, the class assembled gift packages for Sappington’s Veterans Day celebration. Earlier this week, the class helped students with reading assignments.

The students learn how to make seating charts, write curriculum and use different teaching strategies. They also learn about the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In addition to gaining an introduction to teaching, students can also gain college credit hours and college application knowledge. 

According to McGrath, this course should help these students come to a decision on if teaching is the right career choice for them.

“It’s a basic introduction to the field of teaching,” she said. “If they go through the year, and then realize that teaching isn’t for them, they won’t waste that money for college. There can be a lot of burnout in the teaching field. We are trying to give these students real experience in the classroom that can help them come to a decision about whether they want to be a teacher.”

It appears to be working for this year’s group of students.

“There are students in the group who really enjoyed the program, and now know they want to pursue teaching in elementary, middle school or high school,” McGrath said. “It’s really helped them come to those decisions.”