Indiana Area Senior High School

A school within a school: the IHS preschool returns for 2022-23

By MEGHAN RUMMEL

Next year at IHS, the preschool will be making its return! Students will have the opportunity to enroll in the Child Development course where they will get to teach, interact, learn about, and work with children.

Child Development is a semester course that is open to students who are interested in working with children. The class and the preschool are run by Mrs. Sarah Juart. She stated that “this is a class where you not only learn about how children grow and develop from birth to adolescence, but you also learn how to work with children. This involves lesson planning, teaching activities, and working with the children to learn basic kindergarten readiness skills. We are considered to be a school within a school.”

The preschool occurs in the Spring and Fall semesters, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Children from ages 3 to 5 who are district residents, and are fully potty trained can be enrolled. Juart says, “We have 10 children enrolled for next year, as of now we plan to run it. It has been tough the last two years because we have not had a steady preschool program due to COVID restrictions.” 

Juart explains more about the course by stating, “This is a class that involves classwork and creating activities/lessons for the preschool. I am very firm with deadlines for work, especially within the preschool. The parents expect their children to be learning something that will help them developmentally, and for their next step, which is  kindergarten.” Junior Alivia Marsh who was enrolled in the course expressed that “there are several things you learn that are helpful, and teaching the preschoolers is a great way to get better with public speaking, and applying what you know to the preschoolers.” 

Junior Liz Flanders, another student who was enrolled in the child development course stated, “my favorite part about preschool was the kids because they always made my day, and even when I was at my worst they always made me smile.” Interacting with these children often feels like a break from high school. You get to let loose and have fun because that’s all these children want to do.

The Child Development preschool room at IHS awaits it's "return" of IHS students and preschoolers

Being in the preschool, many stories and important moments follow, Marsh expressed, “There are so many funny stories, but the funniest would have to be when  Mathew was playing a game and jumping all over the floor, and he had all of the other preschoolers join in.” Flanders added, “the funniest story I have is when I was trying to teach the preschoolers about the 4th of July and I brought out the flag, and they acted like it was a parachute.”

Students who work within the preschool rarely forget their time spent there. Marsh says, “what I miss most would have to be the children. They all have such different personalities, and they are so much fun. Teaching them was the best, and it was a great learning experience.” Juart added, “the children are great, you pretty much have to be prepared to hear and see anything, because no two days are alike, which is what makes it fun. I also enjoy seeing my students gain more confidence as they work with children and step more into the teacher role.”

Overall, this class may be the one for you if “you like children, you don’t mind a little hard work, have excellent time management skills, and you do well with meeting deadlines,” stated Juart. 

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