Education students teach fifth graders at Lincoln Elementary

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Education students teach fifth graders at Lincoln Elementary

Education students teaching at Lincoln Elementary
A partnership between Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Lincoln Elementary has provided several teacher education students with an authentic teaching experience. 

Teaching a room of fifth graders at Lincoln Elementary has given Northwestern Oklahoma State University education students a taste of what their lives will be like as educators. They spent a portion of their spring semester in the Alva elementary classroom teaching science.

Lydia Scalise, Geneva (Ill.) senior; Danielle (Dani) Litzenberger, Waynoka junior; Misti McCullough, Capron junior; Megan Boone, Lacygne (Kan.) senior; Stefanie Dixon, Woodward senior; Breanna Gossen, Alva senior; Jacey Ford, Mill Creek senior; and Jessica McDow, Woodward senior, participated in this collaboration through taking Elementary Science Methods.

Instructing the Elementary Science Methods class, Dr. Carlos Minor, assistant professor of education, said they taught three lessons in pairs.

“Their lessons were aligned to the material that would be covered on the yearly standardized tests,” Minor said.

“This was a symbiotic relationship – Northwestern students got to teach three lessons to actual students – which provides great preparation for their impending student teaching experiences and their careers, and the students get reinforcement on the material that they are tested on near the end of the school term.”

Litzenberger and McCullough both agreed that they gained a real-life teaching experience because of this partnership.

“I feel I gained the most by seeing how the students responded to my lesson and how my modifications improved the lesson,” McCullough said.

“I believe the more time spent in the schools with real students is beneficial because it provides us with an authentic teaching experience.”

“I feel this experience has helped me better understand the mind set of fifth graders,” Litzenberger said.

“What they expect from the teacher and what holds their interest is important to fifth graders and to any student.”

Minor thought Northwestern’s teaching students presented engaging lessons and pushed the fifth graders to where they needed to be from an academic standpoint.

“They dealt with classroom management issues and were more than up to the task in that regard,” Minor said. “They faced the inevitable need to modify their lessons, and they handled that admirably as well.

“Working with actual students gave these prospective teachers the opportunity to assess their strengths and weaknesses as educators, and in my opinion, it reinforced their desire to continue along their chosen career path.”