Me Me Lee, a junor at Mount Juliet High School, has always thought about becoming a teacher. She is the third student in her family to attend UTC’s Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers.
“My brother came last year, he’s going to be a teacher and my sister came the year before,” said Lee.
Lee and 26 other students from across Tennessee are participating in the five-week summer program, sponsored by the state.
“We received about 120 applications, but we only take about 30 high school students each summer,” said Dr. Beth Dodd, UTC Governor’s School director and director of UTC Continuing Education.
Lee said she’s enjoying the session, especially being on her own and making new friends, but she also enjoys getting hands on experience in the classroom.
“I’m taking two classes, technology in the classroom and teaching for different learning styles. We get to talk to professional teachers and ask them whatever we want,” Lee said. “This week I’m teaching fifth and sixth graders, the topic is Knight’s and Castles. I researched the topics and made a week’s worth of lesson plans. It’s fun to be creative with the children,” said Lee.
The State of Tennessee provides twelve summer programs for gifted and talented high school students. These programs provide challenging and intensive learning experiences in these disciplines: Arts, Humanities, International Studies, Engineering, Science, Prospective Teachers, Scientific Exploration of Tennessee Heritage, Information Technology Leadership, and Agricultural Science.
UTC is the only campus that offers the Governor’s School for Prospective Students.
“These are well rounded students who have leadership skills. They must be nominated by their guidance counselor, submit essays, and meet other criteria. It’s an excellent opportunity,” said Dodd.