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UNLV program helps fast track teachers in training

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 21:41:19-04

New teachers have been practicing in classrooms most of June as part of UNLV's Rebel Academy.

For the students, this is like summer school. For the teachers in training, this is typically the first and only real-world experience they'll get before starting.


The academy pairs new teachers up with seasoned mentors. It lasts four weeks, and by the end, many participants are ready to enter the full classroom time. Fourteen people are going through the program this year.

Every new teacher matters. Right now the Clark County School District has 741 classroom vacancies.

For many, this is a significant professional change.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't know where I wanted to go, but now I feel like I have a purpose and a focus," said William Moore, one of the teachers in training.

A woman who graduated from Columbine High School a decade before the massacre decided now she wants to teach. She's part of the academy.

Heidi Guy's favorite teacher died in the mass shooting. For years fear kept her out of the classroom. Now she's ready to pursue her passion.

"It's a concern, but we can't live in fear either cause then that's not American society," said Guy.

Guy wants to be a social studies teacher. She's well aware there have been many school shootings since Columbine. She's hoping to reach out to students who need a little extra love, especially now that she's a mom.

"It's constantly on my mind. I worry about it. I worry about the kids," said Guy.

The academy wraps up Friday, June 29. Many participants already have secured jobs.