From student to teacher — Teacher Academy of Maryland students participate in internships

From student to teacher — Teacher Academy of Maryland students participate in internships

A teacher should start every day fresh.

“Every day is a new day,” said Michelle Simone, a first-grade teacher at Dr. James Craik Elementary School for more than 15 years. “You should be welcoming and respectful, have compassion and positivity for sure.  You also have to be well planned, always thinking ahead and not be afraid to fail.”

It is advice students in the Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) Career and Technology Education program can glean from working in classrooms with seasoned teachers.

TAM is offered in all Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) high schools to introduce students interested in careers in child development, education and social work to the fields. TAM students learn human growth and development in 10th grade and teaching as a profession in their junior year. During their senior year, students learn foundations of curriculum and instruction, and participate in an internship.

Students at Henry E. Lackey High School catch a bus to Maurice J. McDonough High School to take TAM classes from Karen Rowledge. Her students help out in McDonough classrooms, Matthew Henson Middle School and at Craik.

Alexis Bourassa is a McDonough senior whose mother, Stacy, a Craik kindergarten teacher, inspired her decision to go into the profession. “I’ve always looked up to her,” Alexis Bourassa said. “And just seeing how my teachers are with students.”

Lackey senior Stephon Sullivan is still undecided if he’ll study education in college, but he enjoys helping out in McDonough’s adaptive Life Skills gym classes. “It’s underrated,” Sullivan said of the TAM program. “A lot of good can come from it. I get to work with kids and help others.”

Rowledge’s students have something in common. “They’re willingness to try and try something new,” she said. “They have that willingness to try something that might not be on their radar.”  And some come back. “I wouldn’t consider going into education without TAM,” said Maggie Hayes, a Life Skills instructional assistant at McDonough who graduated from the school in 2015. “TAM opened my eyes. It changed my life.” 

Some colleges including Coppin State, Stevenson, Bowie State, Morgan State, Frostburg State, Salisbury and Towson universities, Hood and McDaniel colleges, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the College of Southern Maryland accept TAM credits. Some of the schools offer scholarships is TAM students.

CTE programs include those in arts, media and communication; business management and finance; construction and development; consumer services, hospitality and tourism; health and biosciences; human resource services; information technology; manufacturing, engineering and technology; and transportation technologies. Go to to learn more about specific CTE programs.


About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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