Seniors have spent a lot of time with teachers over their many years at Beaver. Perhaps they have thought at one time or another that they could do just as good a job of leading a class as their teachers. A few students in Alex Gould’s senior elective Modern Controversies got to see just how hard being a teacher is when they accepted the challenge of teaching an eighth grade history class.
For their final project of the term, students could choose one of three options to complete. One was to teach one or two units on a controversial issue to Mike Adamowicz’s middle school class. Four students chose this option and set about preparing for their lessons.
The students worked with Mr. Gould to create appropriate, hopefully unique lesson plans in which they attempted to engage the eighth graders.
Topics included affirmative action and racism in sports taught by Max Flashner; evolution vs. creationism and affirmative action taught by Sheyda Bautista-Saeyan; copyright law in music taught by Tyler Starr; and censorship vs. First Amendment rights taught by Andrew Galakatos.
“I thought the seniors did a great job, and learned a bit about what it’s like to be a teacher,” said Mr. Gould. “What happens when you can’t find your lesson plan, when technology doesn’t work, or when kids don’t respond to your discussion prompts?”
Mr. Adamowicz said, “There is a real value in the eighth graders being able to engage and discuss real issues with seniors. They look up the the older students. It was fantastic seeing the seniors in action, and even better for the eighth graders to participate in classroom discussions.”
Who knows, maybe in a few years one of these students will be back in a Beaver classroom as a teacher — much like Alex Gould (Beaver class of ’95).