Education majors teach local kids

This past Thursday, 20 members of Kappa Delta Pi practiced their teaching skills by working with kindergarten and first-grade students at Waynesburg Central Elementary school. 

The Waynesburg University students taught first and second-grade students at the school.

The theme for the morning, which lasted from 8:30 a.m. to around 10:30 a.m., centered around fall. With Halloween in the air, Waynesburg students taught kids lessons in math, science and reading, with the themes surrounding aspects of fall, such as pumpkins and leaves.  

The students spent roughly 20 minutes with each group of kids, with the seniors assisting the sophomores and juniors.

Deanna Mack, chairperson for the education department and assistant professor of education, was pleased with how the morning turned out. 

“They did a fantastic job,” Mack said. “The teachers were very excited to have something positive in their classrooms, and they were excited for their students to have something that was very fall-themed. It came at a time of the year where things were busy and hectic with Halloween and report cards and everything. So, it was nice for the kids to have something that was so educational.”

The event took place on the official Halloween holiday, so all week the elementary school was busy with Halloween festivities. 

For the sophomore class, this event was particularly convenient, Mack said, because their field placement is scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Thursday mornings. Although the underclassmen have experience in teaching, Mack said it was helpful for the more polished seniors to help them along.

“They learned to use their teacher’s voice,” she said. “They learned to be flexible; they learned to be professional and collaborate, work as a team. There’s a lot actually that went into that.”

For Kappa Delta Phi in general, students need to have a 3.5 GPA. Eleven new members were recently inducted into the organization.

The day wasn’t just a benefit to aspiring teachers, however. Mack felt the young kids got a lot out of it as well. 

“It was something that allowed them to get up and move every 20 minutes, and it was something different than being with their teacher,” Mack said. 

Although Mack was in attendance, she said her role was hands-off, as she spent most of the day documenting the event with photographs, so long as the kindergarten and first graders were allowed to have their pictures taken.

“My job was sort of like [the] photographer lady,” Mack said. “So, I showed up and I walked in front of the classrooms and teachers.”

Of the 20 Waynesburg students working, six were seniors. One such senior, Hannah Seambower, felt the experience expanded her horizons in the teaching world.

“[It was] definitely a good experience,” she said. “The more schools and grade levels you can see, the better. I think that it really helps you open up to what else is out there and what other kinds of schools have to offer.”