‘Future teachers’ make early classroom visits

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 14, 2002

To teach or not to teach? That was the question on the minds ofsome junior high school students Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Future Educators of America club from AlexanderJunior High School got their first taste of teaching during aspecial visit to Martin Elementary.

“It gives them the opportunity to see what actually goes on atthe elementary level, because it’s changed since they were inelementary,” said Leellen Calcote, a first grade teacher who hadtwo AJH students in her class from 2-3 p.m.

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The “future educators” took time from their regular classwork toread with the children or help the youngsters with theirassignments.

Most students gathered in circles and took turns reading theirfavorite Accelerated Reader books.

Each one enjoyed reading to their classmates and new “teacher.”As one read “Cat in the Hat,” she relished in showing the pictureson each page to the group.

“The students have been so excited about them coming to visit,”said Calcote. “They are mentors for first graders. It shows them(first graders) where they can be when they get to Alexander.”

Out of the approximately 60 members of the future educatorsclub, which just formed this year, almost 50 participated in theevent.

To prepare for the visit, the future educators’ sponsors PamKirk and Michelle Ratcliff talked with the students about howimportant it is to encourage children to read.

Martin Elementary Principal Danita Hobbs said volunteers workingwith students on their reading skills is vital to the school.

“That’s something we always need. We encourage students to gohome every night and read,” said Hobbs. “The more they read, thebetter they read.”

Club sponsors plan to have more visits this school year as theclub continues to expand and look for new ways to learn about theteaching profession.

“I love teaching. I think it’s the most rewarding thing in theworld, and I hope the students can get a little taste of that,”said Kirk. “We would like to go to all the schools, even the highschool, to give them exposure to every age group.”

After the visit, the club members were amazed at how much funthey had and how much they had learned in such a short amount oftime. They looked forward to more opportunities to teach.