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Bayless High senior looking forward to the start of her career in education


May 11, 2005 - At a time when most students are counting the days before they'll no longer be in school, Bayless High School senior Rachel Petty is looking forward to the start of her career in education.

Petty of Affton wants to become a teach-er after graduating from Maryville Univer-sity where she will begin classes next fall.

The 18-year-old daughter of Melinda and Tim Petty said she would be happy teaching kindergarten through sixth grade.

"I'd like to teach somewhere in this area,'' Petty said. "I'd like to be in the class-room for a while at the elementary level. After that, I have thought about becoming a principal or going into teaching high school. Maybe someday, I'll have my own day care.''

Her computer applications teacher, Rand Shapiro, knew she liked working with child-ren and set about helping her find an outlet for her interest. He helped her find a job from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Goddard School in Oakville and Petty said she already is learning about being a teacher.

"I'm learning what it's like to deal with children who don't want to participate in class activities,'' Petty said. "It's different at each age level and so the techniques vary. Every child is different, none of them are the same.''

The thought of never getting out of school is nothing new to Petty. It reminds her of the funniest thing that ever happened to her.

"At the beginning of the year we had a test we were doing on the computers and I got locked in the computer room,'' Petty said with a grin. "We had a substitute teacher that day. I was staying after class to finish the test and I guess he didn't know I was in the room. He locked the door when he left.

"There was one classroom adjacent to the computer room and I tried to get the teacher's attention by sliding notes under the door, but they just thought it was a student prank, so I ended up calling my friend Sean and telling him I was locked in before they knew to come and let me out.

"Everybody teased me about that,'' she recalled.

It was a third-grade teacher from Tower Grove Elementary School near her former home in the city whom this Bayless High School senior credits with her admiration for teachers.

"She was the kind of teacher who made you want to come to school,'' Petty said of JoAnn Sinks. "She was really nice. She talked to all the children like friends. I want to model my career after her.''

Her advice for youngsters who want to become teachers themselves?

"Be patient,'' Petty said. "A lot of people think it's easy to work with kids. My advice would be to get a job somewhere there are a lot of kids and see what it's like.''

  • Pitch It & Forget It
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