When Junior Kelsea Whitte decided to teach communications to children at the Stephens College Children’s School, she expected to talk to them about telephones (landlines, not the ones they know today), old fashioned radios and the history of TV.
The children wanted to explore deeper. So by the end of the two weeks in which she was given the opportunity to plan lessons and teach, Kelsea and her students were talking about Morse code, sign language and hieroglyphics.
“I learned not to underestimate the kids,” Kelsea quipped. “They’re so smart. I was amazed how passionate they are about everything they’re learning.”
Kelsea and fellow Education majors spent two weeks at SCCS teaching lessons in “clusters,” and exposing the children to a variety of topics, including natural disasters and weather, habitats and the history of civil rights. They presented their lesson plans and results during a showcase in April.
The lesson Kelsea learned? “Keep high expectations. They blew me out of the water.”
Haley Hardy taught her students about natural disasters using experiments such as a soda bottle tornado and a baking soda volcano. She hopes the activities will help the children better retain the information. But she also doesn’t deny having fun with it.
“I loved being silly and goofy with the kids,” she said. “This makes me want to be a teacher even more.”
Patrika Brown used the children’s book Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad” to teach students about the extremes slaves went to for freedom. The students used the book’s description to make their own version of the box Henry Brown used to mail himself to Philadelphia abolitionists.
“It was an extensive study,” Patrika said. “I learned how to teach children about such harsh topics. We went as in-depth as the children wanted.
Carla Collins let her students learn about hibernation by creating habitats specific animals used during the winter months and where those creatures started going when temperatures rose. Michelle Overton taught children about tragedies on the water over time, including tales from the Titanic.
“I feel like I grew as a teacher,” Michelle said, referring to the two weeks during which she created and delivered the lesson plans. “There’s so much planning, but it was so fun. I loved having all day everyday with the children.”