MOUNT OLIVE — The Golden Apple teachers preparation programs leaders hosted a round table to discuss the state’s teacher shortage, with Gillespie teacher Nikki Katich as one of its speakers.
Katich participated in the Golden Apple Accelerators program, which is a one-year teacher residency and licensure program that expedites the preparation of highly qualified teachers. While working as a teachers aid, Katich said her principal recommended the program, but she was hesitant at first, she explained in May at the roundtable discussion.
“When I first got the information, I thought it was a scam,” Katich said. “My principal said, ‘No, I promise you, this is the real deal,’ and it was.”
Golden Apple welcomed its inaugural class of Accelerators in June 2020 and placed participants in 22 districts-in-need throughout Illinois.
The benefits of using the program are:
• Obtain a teaching license within 15 months.
• Up to $25,000 stipend to apply to coursework and/or housing.
• One-year residency and training program in a targeted partner school district in Southern, Central or Western Illinois.
• Pursue coursework and earn credit at a partner university.
• Job placement in a partner school district in Southern, Central or Western Illinois, and begin full-time teaching in fall 2023.
• Instruction from award-winning educators.
• Mentoring in the first years of teaching.
Katich was able to achieve her teachers license through Blackburn College. Through the program, Katich now has a residency at Mount Olive Elementary School teaching special education for kindergarten through fourth grade.
“I love it,” she said. “I love the kids, I love the parents and they are just diverse learners.
“It’s so gratifying when our kids do something great or overcome hurdles and obstacles. It really warms my heart.”
Katich started the school year on Monday, Aug. 9. She said that the school is using a cautious attitude, but notes that a few students that have already been quarantined.
“We are falling back on what we learned last year, what worked and what didn’t” she said. “It it a little easier this year because we know what we’re doing.”
via Alton Telegraph
August 18, 2021 at 05:29PM