UF's Future Teachers Get Classroom Experience through Junior Achievement Curriculum
Beginning with their freshmen year, future teachers in Findlay’s College of Education get experience in the classroom. This fall, students in a Teaching as a Profession course, taught by Melissa Recker, an instructor in the College of Education, gained experience teaching third and fifth graders at Wilson Vance Elementary School and eighth graders at St. Michael School in Findlay
Partnering with Junior Achievement of Northwest Ohio, lessons taught entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career development. Junior Achievement lessons are delivered to area K-12 classrooms during the school day by volunteers from the community over the course of five, six or seven visits. Students put these lessons into action to help strengthen themselves and the community.
UF students were split into groups of three and were responsible for coordinating schedules with the primary teachers in each classroom. Each group taught five 45-minute lessons during the course of the semester. “This is a great opportunity for our freshmen,” said Recker. “The curriculum is provided by Junior Achievement, and the students went through training provided by JA.”
Junior Achievement provides the training and supporting materials for each lesson. Everything the students needed to teach the lessons was provided for them, allowing them to focus solely on the teaching experience without needing to develop curriculum. As UF freshman Randy Rice discovered, however, part of the challenge of teaching is adjusting curriculum to help students learn better.
“The biggest challenge in completing the assignment would have to have been making sure to include all of the information that the book provided,” he said. “In my second lesson, I reconfigured the structure of the lesson to help the information flow smoothly and efficiently.”
According to Recker, this is the first time a UF class has collaborated with Junior Achievement, and she plans to continue.
“The teachers are impressed with our students, and the students love it,” she said. “Our students are anxious to get out and start learning as much as they can. We’re happy to be able to provide the experience for them.”
“There is nothing I enjoyed more than getting up in front of this class and delivering a lesson,” said Rice. “This is how I know I am meant to be a teacher.”