GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Gulf Shores City Schools partnered with University of South Alabama to start a student teaching program.

Gulf Shores City Schools is making hands-on learning a high priority for their students, but they also want teachers to get hands-on opportunities as well. Students in the College of Education program at South Alabama will have the opportunity to get into classrooms.

Gulf Shores City Schools Superintendent, Matt Akin, said this new program will be a great opportunity for future educators

“This semester, we have two new student teachers, and they will stay with us all year, our hope is to get three more student teachers in the spring that will stay with us for a year,” said Akin. “It’s really a great recruitment tool for us, they come in, they get trained and learn the Gulf Shores culture and how we really personalize learning.”

Normally, student teachers stay for a semester of a school year, but Akin said the student teachers will stay for an entire school year to make sure they learn and gain the most experience they can.

Along with this program, Gulf Shores City Schools has teamed up with One Club Apartments to house the student teachers. Akin said they are using COVID grant to cover the cost.

Courtney Creel is a 4th grade teacher at Gulf Shores Elementary School and is looking forward to welcoming the student teachers this fall.

“The more hands you have on students and the more resources and help, you can provide it exponentially,” said Creel. “They grow academically, so it’s great for these babies and for the teachers there. It’s always good to be able to bounce things off of somebody else who’s in the same business you’re in.”

Two student teachers will begin their teaching this Fall. Gulf Shores City Schools hope to see more coming with each semester.