By INDIA KRUG – On Tuesdays and Thursdays during third period, the hallways of IHS are suddenly filled with the excitement of 12 preschoolers. They enter Room 109, a wonderland stocked with books to borrow, letters to recite, a sandbox to play in, and lily pads to sit on during storytime. Students enrolled in the Child Development course are given the opportunity to teach lessons and work with the children.
Sophomore Hannah Baumer says, “I went into this class because I love working with children and I wanted to learn more about them. Little did I know that we would actually be allowed to teach in an actual preschool and work with children. I learned so much about teaching young kids and the importance of their development.”
Mrs. Sarah Juart has been teaching the class for the past two years and describes it as “a school within a school.” It is a co-dependent relationship; IHS students gain leadership and responsibility skills, while the kids get ready for kindergarten.
Juart shares, “I like it when I have trained the high school students for several weeks on how to run the program and then I see them slowly come into their own and take over when it comes to working with the preschool children.”
Child Development students prepare lesson plans weekly for a variety of subjects. Last semester, the preschoolers dug for fossils, sorted pirate treasure, sang a song about planets, met firefighters, and more. Students are also assigned a preschooler to observe throughout the program and curate a progress report for the parents.
Junior Ethan Black comments, “I loved teaching them about different topics, like dinosaurs, opposites, and a bunch of holidays as well! My favorite part was teaching the kids and seeing how they would respond. Mrs. Juart is one of my favorite teachers at IHS, and she gave us so much freedom to teach.”
In addition to teaching, students are able to connect with the preschoolers. Upon arrival, kids run to their high school friends, anticipating a day of hands-on learning. During free play, everyone dresses up in princess costumes, races toy cars and creates stories with Barbie dolls.
Senior Taylor Lang shares, “The class was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I expected it to be less interaction with the kids and more observing. But after taking it two years in a row I learned it was the opposite. In this class, I was able to form special bonds with the children.”
It is a special program that unites the school and the community. For those interested in taking the class next year, Mrs. Juart advises, “It is a lot of work. Organization and planning ahead are a must. However, if you love children and don’t mind a little hard work with some adventure- see you in room 109.”
[Photo by Hannah Wagner]
Photo Caption: “Senior Nehal Abhang plays games with a student.”
India is a senior and joined The High Arrow because journalism matters. Since joining the staff three years ago, she has written many articles, including opinions, has made a lot of friends, and has grown to adore Bob Woodward.