PRC offers peek into teaching

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Early Childhood Education Program is one of the six two year programs offered at Pearl River Central’s Career and Technical Education Center.
The program is about to come to the end of its third year, and in that time has become an asset to the school.
Carol Honsinger, course instructor, has a B.S. degree in home economics from Mississippi University for Women, and did not originally plan to teach Early Childhood Education at PRC.
“I do not have a background in early childhood, and the first year was challenging to say the least,” said Honsinger.
At the end of each year, students in the program have to take an exit test called the Mississippi Career Planning and Assessment system. At the end of the first year, Honsinger’s students ranked second out of over 40 early childhood education programs statewide. In 2014, Honsinger’s students ranked number one on the test.
Honsinger’s success with the MS-CPAS has garnered recognition from the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University. This summer, PRC will host the Methods of Early Childhood course with Honsinger as the instructor.
“I will be working with new teachers, demonstrating my best practices,” said Honsinger.
At the beginning of this year, the early childhood education program at PRC was able to establish a preschool. The preschool provides students taking the course with a weekly opportunity for hands-on experience. Each student is assigned a lab day, where they deliver learning activities to the preschoolers.
During the year, each student is responsible for establishing a theme in which they must design their own bulletin board and teach an activity.
Sophia LaRocca, a first year student in the program, as she started the course was unsure of her career path.
“I was not really sure about what I wanted to do, but now I want to be a preschool teacher,” said LaRocca. “This year, I have been able to see how it really works.”
Honsinger said one thing her class does for students, if nothing else, is make their future just a little bit clearer.
“It’s all about exploring a potential career path, students know when they leave my class if teaching is for them,” said Honsinger.

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