Students look to teaching as future career

Aspiring teachers ... Several students are getting real-life experience in the field of teaching by working in classrooms for their Internship hour. Shown above are, back row, from left: Kareshia Enders, Krystal Davis and Emma Slovek. Front row, from left: Jesse Manke and Dallas Lamm. Photo – Colby Smith

(This is the fourth in a series featuring this year's Internship program students.)

This week features five students involved in School to Work in the same career field: Kareshia Enders, Krystal Davis, Emma Slovek, Jesse Manke and Dallas Lamm.

Enders, a Philip High School senior, assists in the first grade classroom with teacher Jayne Gottsleben. In this role, she helps Gottsleben correct papers, organize the students' work, make copies, put up bulletin boards and help the students with their art projects. Enders said her favorite part is seeing the kids smile when she walks in the door. However, she is also discovering that it can be difficult to get them to calm down when needed, as it is with all young kids. "You have to have lots of patience with them," said Enders. She chose this class to get more experience and to see what she wanted to do after high school. She picked the first grade class because she likes working with little kids. Enders stated, "Any kid will put a smile on your face if you're having a bad day."

Gottsleben appreciates the added help with paper management and classroom preparations. She hopes the School to Work students will experience and see school from a different perspective than just being a student. Gottsleben said, "I enjoy working with former students. It's fun to see the transformation from a young child to adulthood. The students love having Kareshia in the classroom and look forward to her coming each day."

Davis, a junior, works with Melanie Morehart in the kindergarten classroom. She is great help in bringing the kids in from recess, reading to them and playing games with them. Davis said her favorite part is being with the kids. She has learned how to deal with keeping the kids quiet when it is necessary. Davis said, "I chose School to Work so that I could learn how to be a teacher." She chose kindergarten specifically because she loves kids.

Morehart feels this program is a great opportunity for students to experience a minimal part of what teaching and educating students is all about. She wants Davis to learn the passion of working with the students and the learning that a teacher gathers from their students. "I have enjoyed Krystal's enthusiasm in the classroom. The kids really enjoy her and she seems to be enjoying the experience as well," said Morehart.

Slovek, also a junior, contributes help to Erin Baer in the second grade room by correcting papers, helping the kids with corrections, setting up classroom displays and assisting the students with art projects. Slovek's favorite part is spending time with the kids and helping with the art portion. Her most challenging obstacle so far is making sure she is showing the kids the right way to do things. She is quickly learning that being a teacher is not as easy as one might think. "You have to have a lot of patience and must learn the way younger children think and learn," stated Slovek. She chose this program to give herself the opportunity to try a career before doing it for a living. Second grade was appealing to her because she loves to be around and help children.

Baer said, "I think this is a wonderful program that fosters responsibility and initiative. As a teacher I can always use an extra set of hands!" She strives to keep the experience fun and exciting for Slovek as well as educational. Baer wants Slovek to learn the organization and preparation that is involved in teaching.

Manke, a senior, spends his time in the high school English room helping Laura O'Connor with attendance, book orders, organizational tasks, grading papers, making copies, and some Drama Club activities. He has learned what it takes to get a class going and how much grading a teacher really does do. Manke's favorite part of this experience is helping with the drama department. He chose this course because he heard it was fun as well a good experience. "I picked to work with Mrs. O'Connor because I thought she might like some help and I love being involved in the drama side of things too," said Manke.

O'Connor enjoys the Internship program because she likes working with her students in a different way where they can see the planning and preparatory work that is involved in teaching. She wants Manke to see what it's like to be "on the other side of the desk" and hopes he will gain some insight into the teaching profession. O'Connor said, "I am very pleased with the School to Work program here. It's a great opportunity to offer to young people who are about to embark on their future paths. It also really helps me!"

Lamm, another senior, is gaining experience from Jessica Wheeler and the third grade class by working with the students, helping with classroom management, making copies and being a positive high school role model for the students. Lamm's favorite part of this course is working with the kids which has taught him that patience truly is a great virtue. Lamm said, "It's always fun to get out and work in new places. I've never worked with younger kids before, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's an amazing job and I never know what to expect!"

Wheeler thinks School to Work is a great tool for students to use when deciding on a career path. She enjoys helping them have a close-up look at elementary education. The hardest part for Wheeler is letting the student leave at the end of the school year. She really enjoys having the interns in her classroom. "I would like Dallas to leave this experience with a fresh perspective of working with children. I also hope it helps him to remain a positive influence in the lives of young people in his future," said Wheeler.

The Philip High School Internship program, previously known as School to Work is a seventh hour class which allows juniors and seniors enrolled in the program to leave school and gain job experience at a work site of their choice.