FTA prepares future teachers for the classroom

Published 4:23 pm Monday, February 10, 2014

FTA local and state president Emily Colley, senior at MHS, leads eighth graders in a team-building game called Ninja at the University of Montevallo's Future Falcon Day. (contributed)

FTA local and state president Emily Colley, senior at MHS, leads eighth graders in a team-building game called Ninja at the University of Montevallo’s Future Falcon Day. (contributed)

By MICHELLE ADAMS/Community columnist

In the past five years, the Montevallo High School chapter of the Future Teachers of Alabama has grown from three to 31 members. This organization, designed to explore an interest in the education profession, gives students the opportunity to engage in events with younger children and test their teaching capabilities.

“FTA offers students an organization that challenges their leadership skills, encourages their compassion for others and helps them recognize their value to the community around them,” advisor Dawn Cabrera said.

This school year, FTA members coordinated team-building games for eighth graders at University of Montevallo’s Future Falcon Day, sponsored a Parents’ Night Out for the community and participated in job shadowing with teachers at local schools.

“I have heard from college graduates who quit the teaching profession after their first year,” Cabrera said. “I believe one reason this takes place is because they are uncomfortable with the age of the children they chose to teach. Job shadowing from pre-school to middle school provides FTA members with a more specific direction of study they can take in college.”

The MHS chapter has several FTA state officers as members. Senior Emily Colley serves as both the chapter and state president and senior Alexandria Buttgereit is the chapter vice-president and state secretary, while junior Dylan Sanders serves as a state board member.

“As FTA state president, I help plan the state conference, determine the speakers and activities, and organize the outreach-to-teach community service project to help a school near the conference site,” Colley said. “Through my membership in FTA, I have decided that I want to be a middle school teacher. The seventh grade seems to be a pivotal time in a student’s life, when decisions are made that determine one’s future path. I would like to be a teacher for students of that age to provide a positive influence and encouraging voice.”

Colley also credits FTA with improving her communication savvy, her ability to mediate discussion and her public speaking skills, since she has to address large audiences at state conference.

Upcoming plans for the MHS chapter include an officers’ conference in Montgomery, making Easter baskets for elderly citizens and attending the state conference at the University of North Alabama in early March.