WVDE “Grow Your Own” program prepares W.Va high school students to become teachers
FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Praxton Skaggs is a junior at Midland Trail High School. She has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember.
“I don’t know. I’ve just always wanted to be a teacher since I was like really little, so it just seemed really fun to me,” she told WVVA.
Skaggs is also a student in the “Grow Your Own” program, a teacher preparation program launched by the West Virginia Department of Education earlier this year under its TeachWV initiative.
Skaggs says the program is a great way to see if teaching is the right career path.
“I would like people to actually like try to like see if they would like to become a teacher because we are like losing teachers like everywhere and we really need them in this world.”
This year, Midland Trail High School has partnered with Glenville State University for the “Grow Your Own” program. Students can earn dual credit hours, meaning they can work toward a college degree while still in high school.
Glenville State University President Mark Manchin says the program is a great way for students to get ahead.
“Glenville State University is now well positioned and has traditionally provided teachers throughout the State of West Virginia,” Manchin said. “We want to continue to grow our program, and part of that is right here at Midland Trail with the “Grow Your Own” program where we are identifying teachers- future teachers for the State of West Virginia.”
Like most counties in the state, Fayette County is also struggling to find teachers. Midland Trail’s principal Richard Petitt says he hopes it will encourage students to stay close.
“I mean, we are having a teacher shortage across the state and it’s hitting here at home at Midland Trail and just to have the opportunity and for kids to be aware of those opportunities and then maybe get an opportunity to come home and, you know, serve the community in a teaching capacity someday is kind of unique and exciting.”
Midland Trail currently has four students participating in the program. They hope to increase these numbers next year.
As for Glenville State University, they are partnering with other schools in the state for the “Grow Your Own” program. They say they have 40 students enrolled and taking classes.
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