WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - High school students from around our state got a sneak peak Friday into what being a teacher is like.
They took part in Future Teachers Academy, a program at Thomas College that lets high schoolers get exposed to the profession.
"Rather than waiting until they go to college to figure these things out and get energized, we invite them onto the campus today to get an experience," said Ed Cervone, executive director of Center of Innovation and Education for Thomas College. "One, what a college class would look like in the education department, but also working directly with our professors to have a concept, a perspective of what means to be a teacher for the day, what does that feel like."
They heard from current Thomas students as well as teachers and professors, and they took part in college teaching lessons.
"My mom teaches four year-olds, so I thought I would follow in her footsteps because she seems like she's really enjoyed it and me and her are so similar, so I thought I would really enjoy teaching," said Haley Downs, a junior at Hall-Dale High School.
Students say they understand and value the impact teachers can have on kids' lives.
"It gives you a sense of what you're going to be doing and the practicality and stuff like that," said Wyatt Sykes, a senior at Medomak Valley High School. "It gives you this frame or this scope of what it really means to be a teacher, to influence the youth, and to really shape their learning experience into something more positive to help them become better people and to help them grow as people."
Officials say with the teacher shortage in Maine, it's important to highlight the potential they have to grow in the field.
"It really just makes good sense to help young Maine kids really figure out what a future in Maine can look like, and give them the wherewithal to achieve that," said Cervone.