- Somers Central School District
Students Become Teachers in ECE Class
“Put your blocks away before you color” is not something you often hear in a high school classroom. But for Somers High School students like Luke Savino, instructing preschoolers from one task to another is just part of their role as students in the Early Childhood Education class.
Savino, a junior, spends part of his day with preschoolers from the Tusker Tots program as a student in Melanie Ivey’s ECE II class. The early childhood students pick up their Tots out front of Somers High School and walk them to Room 135 for an immersive hands-on, experiential course where they are teaching and learning at the same time.
Under the helpful eye of Ivey, the high school students are creating and implementing lesson plans, observing classroom behavior of their young students and each other, and learning the flexibility necessary to deal with different situations that occur each day in a preschool classroom.
“The students learn by seeing for themselves,” Ivey said. “I take a back seat and let them stretch their legs a bit. They have the opportunity to really show their strengths. Teachable moments happen before their eyes.”
It was senior Julia Edelman’s turn to lead the class with her lesson plan. But since good weather allowed for a pivot, the class ended up on the Tuskers turf field for a session of Red, Light Green Light, a game that is not only fun but teaches preschoolers self-management, following directions, and memory.
“It was great to see the kids start to get comfortable with the game,” Edelman said. “I think it was a successful plan.”
Edelman said being part of the course has taught her that she enjoys learning new things about her “students.” “But mostly I learned that I love seeing them more and more each day,” she said.
The program has three courses and most students who choose the path are able to complete the sequence. The preschool classroom in ECE I and II provides real-time learning for the students in classroom management, behaviorism, constructivism, and behavior modification. ECE III provides students with college and career readiness and a unit on independent living