Students get taste of teaching with program

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published May 24, 2011

 Third-grade student Jasmine Parlette asks middle school student Guy Tchwanto a question during a lesson on the Great Lakes.

Third-grade student Jasmine Parlette asks middle school student Guy Tchwanto a question during a lesson on the Great Lakes.

Photo by Deb Jacques

HARPER WOODS — Sometimes the easiest way to learn a lesson is to prepare to get up in front of a group of people and teach it.

That’s exactly what some seventh-grade students in June Teisan’s science class did, but their audience posed some challenges since they were a bit of a younger crowd.

After spending several weeks studying the Great Lakes and preparing to teach what they learned, the Harper Woods Middle School students visited nearby Beacon Elementary on two days recently to take to the front of the classroom in second- and third-grade classes.

“I learned more about the lakes that I didn’t know before,” seventh-grade student Keon Anderson said, adding that he enjoyed spending time with the younger children.

Knowing he would have to teach the lessons helped Anderson focus on learning the material.

“I didn’t want the students to know more than us,” he said. “That would be embarrassing.”

Not everyone in the middle school class took part in the event because it was something that they had to specifically commit to doing. There were approximately 10 students who completed the activity.

Besides learning about the lakes, the students learned a bit about how hard it is to be a teacher to young students.

“Second-graders are really talkative,” student Justin Wentland said.

The others agreed.

“The second-graders didn’t know anything,” middle school student Mike Gooch said. “They didn’t even know the shape of Michigan.”

“Third-graders caught on better,” Anderson added. He felt the second day teaching went more smoothly than the first.

Teisan has a reputation for getting her students out of the middle school for hands-on learning activities like this each year.

“They all did an awesome job,” Teisan said.

Most of the students said they weren’t bitten by the teaching bug through the experience, however.

“It was fun,” Wentland said, but he admitted he can’t see himself pursuing teaching as a career.

Other students who took part in the teaching activity were Dana Barnes, Daija Banks, Derek Smith, Daijanell Reed-Graham, Matthew Brown, Guy Tchwanto and Iyauna Edison