Teacher, Coach, Mentor: One Missouri Teacher’s Experience
Living in Appleton City, MO, Trey Foster was working for UPS when he first considered becoming a Missouri teacher. Trey knew that teaching is a stable profession, and it offers mobility. Unsure if life would take him on a move, Trey knew that once licensed, you can teach anywhere. The career appealed to him.
When a good friend mentioned an open coaching position at a nearby school, Trey knew he could be a good fit for it having played ball in high school and college. Similarly, when a science teacher position became available, Trey was confident he was the candidate for the job. With a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences, he was ready to get the next generation excited about science. Now, Trey is a Missouri teacher, coach, and mentor.
Becoming a Missouri Teacher
Once Trey decided to teach, he looked into teacher certification programs accepted in Missouri and found American Board. Trey said, “for me, American Board was a great option. I couldn’t imagine why anyone with a bachelor’s degree would choose to go back to get another degree. Instead, you can get your teacher certification for considerably less money and be just as qualified.”
However, Trey also notes the importance of getting classroom experience. He suggests substitute teaching, or making sure you have time to work with veteran teachers. He continues, “kids are little people and people can be tough, so it helps to have a good idea of how to handle yourself when you get into the classroom.”
Notably, in most states, American Board graduates participate in a district-run mentor program during their first year teaching. In Missouri, Trey’s experience was similar. He completed his required contact hours before applying for the state teaching certificate.
As far as passing his teaching exams, Trey’s experience was remarkably expedited. Because of his science degree, he sat for his science teacher exam soon after enrolling in American Board’s program. Similarly, he found that after spending a week familiarizing himself with teaching terminology, pedagogy content clicked with him. He also had help from a colleague who was a recent American Board graduate. Consequently, Trey passed both required exams in back-to-back months! He quickly secured a full-time teaching position.
Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic
“What I’m most proud of is that we have not missed a beat during the COVID-19 pandemic.” At the onset of COVID-19, Trey’s school did as most schools did. They closed for spring break and subsequently remained closed for the rest of the school year.
But the start of the 2020-2021 school year brought a fresh start, and Trey and his peers were well prepared. With the exception of 2 weeks in November, his school remained open for in-person teaching throughout the year. You can watch the video above to hear more about Trey’s COVID-19 teaching experience.
Missouri Teacher, Coach, and Mentor
Trey teaches 7-12th grade science but notes that the 8th grade-sophomore classes are his favorite. He explains “when kids are excited to come to your class and excited to learn, that’s my favorite part of being a teacher. Those middle grades I teach, the students look up to you and still have a good time in class with you.” Once kids are older, they can lose interest; but Trey knows it’s his job to push them to continue their learning.
Equally important, Trey knows the value of being a good role model for his students. He explains “as a male teacher, some of these kids don’t have a dad or uncle at home. Or they are from a split family and perhaps their interaction with you at school is the only interaction they are having with a male role model that goes to work every day and looks out for them every day.”
Because of quality local educators like Trey, American Board is able to continue training teachers across the country with a strong reputation for success. More than 12,000 American Board trained teachers step up each school year to ensure their students continue to learn. You can hear directly from more teachers about their experiences by visiting American Board’s YouTube page.