College course connects aspiring teachers with elementary students

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Students at Lowell Elementary are getting some extra help at school this year, but it’s not coming from teachers but other students.

Early education students from the University of Sioux Falls are getting the chance to work with students of their own, but the elementary school students aren’t the only ones taking something away from this special program.

These USF students are going to school — just not the one you’d expect.

“We come here every Thursday morning to do lessons with students,” Pre-Service Teacher Lily Satterlee said.

Satterlee (Upper right) is just one student attending class.

That’s not to say they’re not getting an education.

“We are getting the experience of getting to know a student and noticing what it is that they need and what they need to work on,” Satterlee said.

Satterlee and 20 of her fellow classmates are pre-service teachers. This is a practicum course that’s giving them hands-on experience to learn what it’s like being a teacher. They have been visiting Lowell Elementary for the past three weeks.

“This is one course in many courses that our undergraduate education majors will take. So we’ve got many different methods classes; this is just one focused specifically on teaching reading,” Course teacher Brooke Murphy said.

They begin every morning in the cafeteria going over lesson plans they developed themselves and eventually sit in on a class. After that, Satterlee gets one-on-one time with her student, first-grader Autumn Fisher.

“She teaches me a lot of stuff and I like it because I learn some new words,” Fisher said.

“Young people have this zest for learning, this eagerness, and I found that with the student that I work with. Every time I see her, she’s excited about what I have to say and about the lesson I’ve prepared,” Satterlee said.

Though Satterlee may be the teacher in the duo, Fisher is also teacher her her fair share of information that will help her down the road.

“I would say that this is a wonderful experience and it’s really helping me to be prepared to be in my own classroom some day,” Satterlee said.

Saterlee is currently in her senior year at USF and eventually hopes to teach second grade. Her and her fellow teachers will continue to visit Lowell until the end of the year.

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