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Grow Your Own - Aspiring Educators Visit at Lacoste Elementary

Grow Your Own - Aspiring Educators Visit at Lacoste Elementary


The journey is exciting, and the need is great. This was the underlying message when the Louisiana Department of Education and the Chalmette High School CTE Program coordinated a visit to Lacoste Elementary School to see Chalmette High’s Dually Enrolled Aspiring Educator students in action observing elementary classrooms. 


Each year, LDOE selects successful districts to showcase their programs, highlighting their keys to success while sharing insight, tips and tools with coordinators, recruiters, and administrators from other school systems looking to grow their own programs. Visitors began the morning at Lacoste with a warm welcome from Principal Heather Morel, who spoke to the guests about how much her school family loves hosting the high school students. “We love having these wonderful CHS students on campus, building relationships with and learning from our students and staff. I’m proud that Lacoste Elementary is part of this program.”

The second part of the visit gave guests the opportunity to join Chalmette High students during their observations in various classrooms across Lacoste’s campus. By sitting in on these sessions, visitors were able to see the effectiveness of the program both on and off the paper, with one administrator noting that interacting with younger students in classroom environments deepens and enriches the learning experience for these future educators.


Melissa Moynan and Jessica Janneck, two outstanding educators who work closely with CTE Coordinator Aleen LeBoeuf to implement the EdRising Curriculum at Chalmette High, concluded the day's events by presenting guests with the tools they used to engage students and grow the program - which has more than doubled this year. Kathy Huff from Nunez Community College also spoke on the dual enrollment aspects of the courses and how they fit into the Associate of Science in Teaching 1-5.


Moynan said the program is a direct attempt to respond to the national teacher shortage at the local level. “This is a serious endeavor,” Moynan said. Every conversation about the program is driven by the belief that our program matters to the future of education.”  She also said the visibility of the program is a key component. “I think meeting and showing off our Program’s success is super impactful for so many communities because we’re all dealing with a national teacher shortage. This is one way we can confront that shortage head on. We can tackle that problem by giving our own students the skills they’ll need to be successful in their own classrooms one day.”


Janneck concurred. “Students enrolled in the Aspiring Educators Program have the opportunity to observe and analyze real teaching in real time, with real students,” she said. Janneck said lesson plans, tests, and earning credentials are all part of the process. “They take their Classroom Culture test in the Fall, which 100% of our students passed, and they report their findings for a micro-credential in the Spring. A micro-credential is a digital badge that denotes a student’s proficiency in a given area of their curriculum. It’s similar to our certified teachers’ professional development sessions- this is a marker of growth for our dually enrolled Aspiring Educator students.”


Moynan added that while the program is challenging, it’s also fun and purposeful. “We leverage our relationships with students by asking them to spread the word that our class is not only fun, but it is shaping futures!”