The Los Angeles Unified School District recently added four area high schools to a program aimed at honing the language and teaching skills of students who hope to be educators.
El Camino Real, Granada Hills, John F. Kennedy and Van Nuys high schools were selected to open Multilingual Teacher Career Academies.
Administrators described the program as a way to groom teaching talent. At Kennedy High, for example, academy students will progress through four years as a unit, with a curriculum focused on the details of teaching, said Blanca E. Hernandez, academy coordinator at the school.
"This would almost be like students picking a major," Hernandez said.
Students will be taught Spanish, English and a still-undetermined Asian language at Kennedy, Hernandez said. Ninth-graders will enroll in an introductory course called "World of Education," which highlights teaching techniques. When students reach the 11th and 12th grades, they can work as paid teaching assistants, Hernandez said.
Administrators envision many of these students tutoring at area high schools while attending nearby colleges, then returning as members of the district faculty, Hernandez said.
The district plans to open five other such academies throughout the Los Angeles region this fall, bringing the total of new academies to nine. Nine others were started last fall, including programs at Cleveland, Polytechnic and Reseda high schools.
North Hollywood High School, which has had such a program for a number of years, originated the idea, said Gloria Cox, who coordinates the program for the district.