SIKESTON -- Before Sikeston High School senior Dustin Chaney graduates this spring, he will have early childhood education college course credits in place and the training necessary to become a certified preschool teaching assistant.
Chaney, who plans to pursue a teaching degree, said he owes it all to the two-year preschool teaching program offered through the Sikeston Career and Technology Center.
"It's a perfect class," Chaney said, adding he appreciates the hands-on learning experience the program provides.
The preschool teaching I and II courses provide area high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to become certified in child care. Located on the SCTC campus, the Bulldog Preschool houses the the learning environment for the high school students and also for 3- to 5-year-old children of R-6 staff members.
"We are preparing future teachers," said Dee Beydler, who is in her sixth year as the instructor for preschool teaching I and II classes.
The first year of the program consists of mostly class time and book work with some hands-on experience while the second year offers more teaching experience four days out of the week, Beydler said.
The high school students in preschool teaching II plan and prepare field trips, create class projects and write and implement lesson plans, Beydler said.
By the end of the second year, students are also able to earn a Child Development Associate, or CDA, credential. These courses, which are in three-hour blocks, are dual credit which means students can earn college credit with Southeast Missouri State University.
"The program is two-fold," the instructor said. "High school juniors and seniors learn to be preschool teachers and it serves as a preschool for district staff members' children," the instructor said.
The preschool maintains a 1:10 teacher-child ratio, she said.
"It's a good service for the staff, too," Beydler said "We provide a quality preschool program for them at a low cost."
For the entire story, see the Nov. 20 edition of the Standard Democrat or click here to log on to the electronic edition.