High school helpers lend a hand in elementary schools
Fort Dodge Senior High students are getting hands-on experience to help them determine their futures.
The “high school helpers,” as they are known, spend time in classrooms at preschools and elementary schools to help them figure out if education is a career they want to pursue.
According to Julie Schreiber, FDSH instructor, 23 students taking Child Development II or Early Childhood Education are enjoying learning time at lower level schools throughout the district and community.
“This experience lets our high school students see and experience what it’s like to be in an elementary classroom,” Schreiber said. “The high school helpers also provide classroom teachers another set of hands and give the elementary students an older student to look up to.”
The high school students assist the younger students with activities like Lexia on the computers during literacy lessons, building math skills through flash cards, counting with blocks and games, and assisting students in writing letters, numbers and their names.
Sophia Hanish, FDSH senior, thought she wanted to become an event planner. Now, through her classroom experience at Butler Elementary, she is considering becoming a teacher.
“The younger students are so excited to learn, and I love seeing them grow in their abilities,” Hanish said. “I feel like a glow when I talk about them. It’s really special when they look up to you.”
Elle McCarthy, a FDSH junior who is assigned to St. Paul Preschool, is undecided on her plans for the future, but is thinking about working with kids in some capacity.
“This experience is teaching me how to interact with children,” McCarthy shared. “It’s helpful not only if you want to be a teacher, but you can apply the skills to any position where you’re working with kids.”
Schreiber added, “The experience allows the high school students to better understand school and the classroom. This will be beneficial to them as future parents and taxpayers, regardless of whether they work in education.”
In addition to learning how to work with children, the experience also teaches the high school students dependability, flexibility, teamwork, initiative, empathy, and more. “They are learning skills that can be transferred to anything,” Schreiber said. “The experience brings what we are learning in the classroom together and to life and will serve the students well no matter what career path they pursue.”