STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Students at Mississippi State are on summer vacation but there are still teachers on campus…future teachers.
Future educators are on the Mississippi State campus this week to learn more about teaching. Camp INSPIRE hosts nearly 150 high school students from across the state who are enrolled in the Mississippi Teacher Academy. The camp also included Move to Learn, an interactive program from the Mississippi Department of Education.
“I want to teach because I like to help people and I feel like if I’m a teacher I can help lots of people,” says 12th grader, Precious Drake.
“Teacher Camp has been amazing. I’ve met a whole bunch of new people. The teachers that are here right now are amazing and the counselors are awesome as well,” says Dakota Gray, an 11th grader.
Camp Inspire is in its first year and Mississippi State is the only university in the state to work with the Teacher Academy. Instructor Rhonda Bayles is a retired educator but now dedicates her time to train future teachers.
“I tell them ‘somebody’s got to teach my grandchildren if I ever get any. So, I want to help them grow up to be the good teachers that I want my grandchildren to have one day,” says Rhonda Bayles, an instructor with the Teacher Academy in Lawrence County.
In a separate program in the college of education, The Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program (METP) is hosting its first residential institute with students from Ole Miss and MSU.
“We collaborate with two groups of students who are future teachers who’ll either be in secondary or mathematics or english classrooms. So we built programs with the scholarship program to collaborate between the two university’s faculty and staff,” says Shane Davis with METP at Mississippi State.
In group activities, students worked with Louisville middle schoolers, learning to think like teachers and help their future career.
All scholarship students who complete the teaching program make a five-year commitment to teach in the state of Mississippi after graduation.