Teacher Cadet DE Elective Close-UP


Teacher Cadet DE is a unique opportunity offered at the school that gives students the chance to work with kids and have hands-on teaching experience, giving them the chance to see what really goes into being a teacher. 

Teacher Cadet is just one of the variety of different electives offered at PFHS that allows students to further explore their interests and prepare for potential job opportunities they want to pursue in the future. Teacher Cadet, a dual enrollment course offered through Shenandoah University, is no exception. The class centers around the study of preschool, primary, and secondary education and is for anyone interested in exploring education as a potential career or anyone interested in working with families and children after college. 

Teacher Cadet also provides students with the unique opportunity to have hands-on teaching experience in local schools and student teach during the second semester. It has been offered at the school since 2002, and starting next year students who took Teacher Cadet in subsequent years will be offered the option to take Teacher Cadet 2, where they can build on the knowledge they learned in Teacher Cadet 1. 

In order to be considered for Teacher Cadet, the applicant must fill out an application and, respond to an essay prompt, have three teacher recommendations, and a minimum GPA of 2.7. Upon completion and passing of this course, students will receive four elective credits from Shenandoah University that can be transferred to a college or university and a guaranteed job within LCPS upon completion of their degree. They will have also had the opportunity to participate in creative learning activities, field trips, and a variety of educational leadership opportunities. 

Students currently enrolled in Teacher Cadet DE explain how rewarding these opportunities this class offers towards their potential careers in education. 

“This class has made me realize how much I want to be a teacher,” said junior Anna Messick. “I am learning so much and am so excited to have a classroom of my own someday. It’s a really good opportunity for me to learn about how to keep my future classrooms organized, how to teach lessons, and even how to use the copier.” Messick shares how the class has given her the chance to build bonds with kids, who are always eager to play games during recess or learn something new. 

Teacher Cadet also provides valuable insight for students as to what really happens in the classroom setting. 

“Taking this class has changed my point of view on teaching because it has made me realize how much harder it really is,” said junior Kayla Murphy, who is currently enrolled in the class. “It is hard to get the students full attention and redirect them constantly. There is also a lot of cutting, copying, printing, and assembling papers or bulletin boards to make. Additionally, it made me realize how much planning goes on behind the scenes of the lessons.” 

Whilst the class has PFHS students the amount of patience and dedication it requires to be a teacher, it also has shown how rewarding the job can be. However, Teacher Cadet teaches skills that can provide useful for a range of professions outside just the classroom.

“I have had students follow their passions and go on to study to become counselors, nurses, pediatricians, activists, firefighters and even a lawyer, ” said Mrs. Ashwell, who has been teaching the Teacher Cadet class for the past five years. “You ask why would they take Teacher Cadet?  At some point in all of our lives we will have the joy of being with or working with children.  Learning about the development and education of children in our lives can be a benefit to all.”