The Ellensburg Homeschool Cooperative invited future science teachers to provide additional science education to their students. As part of this collaboration, Central Washington University’s Science Education Club has sent a few of their members to develop lessons based in the fundamentals of chemistry.
“It is a great experience and it allows us an opportunity to practice our teaching styles and develop our personal philosophies in a controlled environment,” said Sarah Carter, a middle level math and science education major at Central.
The other two instructors are Kristina Lagerway and Eve Sullivan. Lagerway is also a middle level math and science education major, and Sullivan is a secondary general science education major with a minor in chemistry.
We are working to develop fun and interactive lessons with Bruce Palmquist and Martha Kurtz as advisers. Our end goal for the Science Education Club is to build a strong relationship with the co-op to allow future student educators to have the opportunity to be involved in a classroom experience and apply what they are learning in their professional education classes.
With students of various ages and different ranges of understanding in chemistry, there is a lot of thought that goes into the development of these lessons.
“Learning to vary the lessons so that all learners can succeed is something we learn about in classes, but actually doing it takes a little something extra,” Sullivan said.
Much like science, education is a field of study which takes practice and experimentation. What works for one teacher may not fit another teacher’s personality. Luckily, while working with the Ellensburg Homeschool Co-op, we have more than one instructor who can help to make up a well rounded team. This is truly an opportunity that the three of us feel we will never forget. It is a great group of students we are getting to work with, and getting some in classroom interaction with students is something we could never fully learn from any textbook.
“I agreed to help with this not just because I can apply strategies that worked in my future classrooms, but also because doing this will help me better understand why I am learning what I am learning in my education classes” Lagerway said.
So far this experience has to help open our eyes as to what being a classroom teacher is like, and we expect there to be many more lessons to come as we continue to go through this nine week course.
More information on the Central Washington University Science Education Club can be found at www.cwu.edu/science-education/science-education-club.