The future of education

Junior in Academy spends Thursday mornings student teaching at Reeder Elementary


photo courtesy of Kimberly Miller

Junior Sidney Bahensky sits behind the projector as she helps students with a worksheet. Bahensky goes in every Thursday morning to get experience in the field of work she wishes to join in the future. “As an intern, I am supposed to set a good example for the kids.” Bahensky said. “I am there to show them what it is like to be a good listener and role model. I am also there to help remind them to stay on task, keep their hands to themselves, ad focus. I hope that by participating in the academy, I am a little more ahead and advanced in some subjects than others. I also hope to one day make an impact in the lives of thousands of students and occasionally parents.”

Alexis Bahensky, Opinions Editor

The Millard West Education Academy sends their students to different schools around the Millard district to take part in internships at the end of their first year in the academy. Junior Sidney Bahensky is one of those students who get to have such an experience as she takes her internship to Reeder Elementary.

Bahensky decided to join the Academy early in her sophomore year and has been dead set on a career in education since she was in middle school. The Education Academy was the perfect step toward getting experience in her future career.

I have known for the longest time that I wanted to pursue a career where I was able to help children, so I decided to go into teaching,” Bahensky said. “When I first heard about the Education Academy, my eighth grade year of middle school, I was in awe at all the opportunities it provided. I could practice what I love doing while earning college credits and in-class experience.”

While in the academy, students are given the opportunity to take part in internships at seven different elementary schools and four middle schools. Students are able to request their top three choices of the school they wish to intern at and can even request specific teachers, grades and subjects.

“We do the internship because the more classroom experience you have, the more you see how a classroom works and the better teacher you will become,” Academy teacher Ali Bragg said. “It also helps the Academy students decide if they truly want to become a teacher and what age group they want to teach.”

In Bahensky’s case, when finding out her old grade school was on the list of schools she could intern at, she didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to reconnect with her old kindergarten teacher, Kimberly Miller. While she could have chosen another teacher she had during her time at Reeder, being with Miller will provide her experience with the grade she desires to work with. 

“I chose to do first grade because there is something about working with early elementary that brings me joy and excitement,” Bahensky said. “I love seeing their bright personalities and minds grow beyond what they could even imagine. I also love the teacher I work with. She was my kindergarten teacher, and it is so eye-opening and a dream come true to be following in her footsteps.”

Every Thursday morning since the beginning of the fourth semester, Bahensky goes to Miller’s classroom to help out. She has a wide range of responsibilities; however, her main duty is to interact with students as she feels fit. Bahensky has a large range of freedom that will help her prepare for having a classroom of her own in the future.

“I hope Sidney will get an accurate picture of a first grade classroom from working with me,” Miller said. “I think it’s important for academy students to be able to interact with kids in the grade level they hope to work with one day. It gives them a better idea of what being a teacher involves from academics to discipline.  In turn, I am rewarded with seeing students get excited about becoming a teacher. I hope I am able to show Sidney the passion I have for teaching and maybe pass some of that along to her.”

Next year, she will take the next step forward and move to student teaching which will further her experience in the academy. For now, however, she will continue to intern with Miller in her classroom until the end of the year, gaining valuable knowledge and experience she will need to be successful in her future career in teaching first grade students.