Written by: Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy and published by The Eastern New Mexico News, November 21, 2018
Opinion: Clovis students learning joy of teaching
I recently heard about a great program going on at our Clovis High School Freshman Academy. Called, “Educational Methodology,” it is facilitated by CHSFA’s versatile Tiffany Grimes. Grimes has taught technology as well as careers in the past, and this new program aligns perfectly with her past experience as well as her love of helping kids.
Grimes carved out some time to describe the program. “Our new program, Educational Methodology, has a full curriculum, and I have 53 students now participating.” Partnering with Cameo Elementary, virtually next door to the freshman campus, the ninth graders work with the elementary teachers and students — under Grimes’s supervision — to develop an in-depth insight, as well as hands-on experience in the field of teaching.
Grimes continued, “We researched the program for about three years prior to bringing it to our campus.” It began in earnest when Grimes, together with two other secondary teachers attended the “Educators Rising” three-day training in Albuquerque. Educators Rising’s mission is to “cultivate highly skilled educators by guiding young people on a path to becoming accomplished teachers, beginning in high school and extending through college and into the profession.” Working together with Dr. Karen Trujillo, from New Mexico State University, the program at CHSFA has met with great success.
Also working with Eastern New Mexico University, Grimes recently took 50 of her students to ENMU’s campus where they were able to tour the College of Education and Child Development Center and meet with several of ENMU professors. From Grimes’s description, the ENMU field trip sounded as though it was a pretty transformative experience for her students.
Working closely with the cooperating teachers at Cameo Elementary, Grimes went on to describe the impact of her ninth grade students as they’ve spent time in the elementary classrooms. There’s something about younger students looking up to the older students, that brings out the best in the older kids. They feel the weight of responsibility and stand just a bit taller, so to speak. The ninth graders also spend time directly with the cooperating elementary teachers to learn about the many other tasks and activities associated with teaching; for example, planning, lesson-plans, organization, lunch/recess duties, and much more.
The idea is to continue to expand the program to introduce more of our students to the joy — yes, joy — of teaching. I am so grateful, and especially mindful at this time of year, of the dedication of our Clovis educators and the whole district.
Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at