By Amanda Ronan
With so many distractions and other outside influences, it sometimes seems like school is the last thing on teenagers’ minds. Secondary teachers understand that their students are dealing with many stressful life events; for some students, it is pressure to measure up in school or in athletics. Other students are worried about what they will do when they finish high school. Still others are dealing with issues like teen pregnancy, homelessness and drug addiction.
By Valeriana Bandeh
MA in TESOL Student, College of Education
I watched, as he stood towering over the students. He began to tell his story of how he became a landscape engineer earning over $300,000 a year. How was that possible? That was much more than I had ever earned. He was my student and I remembered how unkempt he looked. He was tardy, struggled academically in class, did no homework and was extremely rebellious. He refused to follow the school’s strict uniform policy. But as I listened, he told his story—of unimaginable poverty and how he overcame.
By Stephanie Knight
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education
When I was getting my master’s degree in education, my mom gave me sagacious advice: “Don’t put a box around a child; all kids are smart in some way.” Being in education for 35 years, part of her tenure was teaching art. Working with the students in art class, she saw something others did not. Her colleagues would tell her that a particular student was failing math or reading. Disregarding any preconceived notions about any one student, she allowed for multiple ways of expression. Those labeled as the “problem students” thrived in her class.
If students only learned the information that they hear in lectures or read in books, then Thomas Edison would not have created the incandescent light bulb and Edward Jenner would not have developed the first successful vaccine. While it is still important for students to learn what is already known about the world around them, it is arguably even more important for them to uncover new knowledge and possibilities for themselves. This philosophy is the heart of the maker movement.
STEM is one of the latest educational buzzwords making the rounds, but it is quickly being elbowed out of the picture by STEAM education. This acronym includes arts education in the mix. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics is an integrated approach to teaching students through collaborative and creative experiential learning activities.
No matter how thoroughly your degree program prepares you to become a teacher, you will find that there is nothing quite like the insight you will gain from hands-on experience. Many new teachers discover that talking to parents is harder than they expected. The trick is to assume the right mindset. Always remember that the parents know their child best, even though you work with that child every school day. Parents want the best for their kids, but they do not always know how to help them. Everyone will benefit when you start a friendly, collaborative relationship with all of your students’ parents right from the start.
Are you interested in becoming a teacher? Grand Canyon University’s College of Education offers a number of degree programs that can help you gain the skills you need to pursue a career in the academic world. Our programs cover many different topics, including how to help students overcome anxiety about taking timed tests.
By Micah Lee
Alumna, College of Education
As a kindergarten teacher, I teach students from all walks of life: my students come into my classroom with diverse backgrounds, experiences, families and cultures. These differences often include values. Some children are raised with Christian values, and some are just taught how to be decent human beings, but some may struggle to understand the importance of having values in one’s life.