Orientation To Teaching

Kailee Speer, Writer

Orientation to Teaching, a year-long course taught by Dena Furton, gives students an opportunity to visit assigned classrooms to observe and help the teachers and students. Furton has been teaching since 1983 and has taught several different classes, including Oral Communications, English, and Drama.

Furton sees teaching as a valuable career.

“Working with the students and building relationships with them is [the most fulfilling part],” Furton said. “If you are in this class, you find that out.”

Although Furton has taught many classes, she has learned the most from Orientation to Teaching.

“I am a better teacher because I teach Orientation to Teaching,” Furton said. “It helps you learn what good teachers do. It is a neat thing to see kids realize their passion.”

Furton says that there is one teacher in every person’s life that has made an impact on them.

“Every one of us knows a teacher in our lives that meant something really special to us,” Furton said. “To be that person for those kids is the best.”

Junior Kaylen Daniel heard about the class from her friends.

“My friends last year were taking it, and I [knew] that I always wanted to work with kids [in] some way,” Daniel said. “It has been really fun so far, because I get to hang out with kids all class period.”

Daniel explains that there are downsides to being a cadet.

“My teacher does not really let me work with the kids, but she does let me hang out with them and lets me see the difference between a ‘bad’ kid and a ‘good’ kid,” Daniels said.

Daniel plans on being a teacher and believes that good teachers are important in children’s lives.

“I either want to do preschool or [high school] biology or world history, because those were my favorite classes so far,” Daniel said. “[Dexter] Barksdale showed me that good teachers are really important in kids lives.”

Daniel has learned about the different background that students come from as part of the class.

“Students [may] go home, and their parents do not really pour into [their child] and care about their day,” Daniel said. “They [might] come to school, and you [can either have] a stressed teacher, or they can have a teacher that pours into them and makes them laugh and asks them how [life] is going.”

Although this class puts students in the classroom, Daniel explains this class is good for anyone who wants to work with kids.

“If you are even considering working with kids at all, this is a really good opportunity,” Daniel said. “You can see how the kids interact with each other [with their] different backgrounds.”

In the class Daniel shadows for, she has observed many different types of kids.

“Normally, in a [family] you just get to see nieces and nephews with the same culture and background,” Daniel said.  “In my class, I have kids from different backgrounds, and it is really cool to see.”