The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Laura Rocklage

Senior Kelsea Wilson teaches kindergarteners in her former teacher [Laura] Rocklage’s classroom.

Teaching & Learning

Spark! Teaching & Learning is based on a quarter system.  During the first quarter, junior Makenzie Brown and senior Kelsea Wilson left school after third period or academic lab. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.,  the students went to Highcroft Elementary and learned about different teaching strategies and techniques regarding education.  These skills were learned through dynamic, hands-on activities.  

“We taught bullying lessons to a group of fourth graders and worked with the Parkway Food Pantry to make STEM kits,” Wilson said.

The second quarter was similar to the first quarter, except seven observation days were built in.  On observation days, students went to a classroom, observed the teacher’s teaching style and reflected on if they wanted to do their second-semester internship with that teacher.

“Throughout your internship, you are constantly interacting with and helping the students.  You also plan out [lessons] and teach three to four lessons. The most fun activity I have done so far is probably my internship,” Brown said.

During the second quarter, students chose a teacher and went to their classroom for two 90-minute sessions per week.

Senior Kelsea Wilson sits cross-legged amid a lunch break with her kindergarteners. (Laura Rocklage)

“I am doing mine with [eighth-grade math teacher Amy House] at West Middle.  I truly connect with her students, and it has been so fun to help them and watch them grow.  Every day [that] I walk into their classroom, they are so excited to see me, and it makes me so excited to work with them,” Brown said. “Everyone always tells me I’m brave for wanting to teach middle schoolers, but honestly, they are so fun.  They still love school, and it’s refreshing to be in a class where we can truly have fun learning.”

Wilson chose her kindergarten teacher Laura Rocklage for her internship at Claymont Elementary.

“I love my kindergarten class. Not only have I met other students who want to be teachers, but I’ve learned a lot about myself. I applied as a marketing major to all of my colleges, but after one day in Mrs. Rocklage’s room, I knew I had to be a teacher,” Wilson said.

Brown believes having real experience in a classroom puts her one step ahead of other aspiring teachers.

Not only do you get a feel of what being a teacher is like, but you get experience before everyone else.  Most people who enter college have never taught a class, and they don’t know if they want to be teachers.  But I have the advantage of having been in a classroom, having taught multiple lessons, and I’ve been graded using the actual rubric Parkway teachers are assessed with,” Brown said.

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