Students as Teachers

Emerald Connection, October 31, 2023

By: Alice Tesar
Joan Davis’ upper school World History class, as part of a  PBL (Project-Based Learning) unit, engaged students in researching and crafting mini-classes tailored for 3rd and 4th-grade students. The high school students selected diverse topics around Ute culture, spanning from contemporary issues such as land and water rights to traditional ways of life. Initially, students honed their teaching skills by presenting their units to each other, and receiving constructive feedback on their teaching methods and depth of knowledge on the chosen subjects. Subsequently, they delivered these lessons to small groups of 3rd and 4th graders during Jen’s classes, utilizing self-designed visual aids. These sessions expanded upon the younger students’ prior unit on resources.

Jen expressed, ‘Observing the younger students’ enthusiasm while absorbing knowledge from the high schoolers not only warmed my heart but underscored the intergenerational passing of information and inspiration towards taking action. It highlights how we function as a community of teachers and learners, regardless of age.’

Post-lessons, the upper school school students reflected on how much more engaging and rewarding their teaching experience became when the younger students actively participated in discussions and posed questions. Joan Davis anticipates that this experience will positively impact classroom engagement moving forward.