Teaching: Loud, Fun, and Sometimes Wild
Katharine Peters is not only teaching this year, but she is also spending time in someone else’s classroom. A second-grade teacher at Fredericksburg Elementary, she is enrolled in LVC’s Master of Science in STEM Education Program.
“I’m drawn to STEM education because it embodies what I love about teaching and skills that I feel are necessary to guide young learners to be successful in life,” said Peters. “STEM education teaches problem-solving and collaboration and fosters curiosity. It enables students to build intrinsic motivation, patience, and perseverance.”
Peters added, “Teaching STEM brings life into my classroom. It gets loud, fun, and sometimes a little wild. However, those memories are always some of our favorites throughout the year. It is a great way to see them extend, expand, and enrich content standards.”
Peters had some help teaching these concepts to students this fall.
Robyn Weiland ’20, an early childhood education major at LVC, was assigned to Peters’ room for one of her student teaching placements. Together the pair developed and taught a catapult lesson where the students designed, built, and tested out mini-catapults. They were created out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and spoons/bottle caps.
Along with these collaborations, Weiland created a two-day STEM activity for students and developed four math centers during her student teaching experience.
“I was responsible for planning, preparing, teaching, and grading the entire lesson,” Weiland said. “It required extensive planning and preparation on my end, which was a wonderful opportunity to see what it takes to be a teacher. It taught me never to assume a child has a background knowledge on the information you are about to teach.”
Weiland, who taught in Peters' class as part of her junior year placement, enjoyed seeing these lessons develop the students’ problem-solving and critical thinking, while also learning valuable skills of her own.
“My LVC classes help me build teaching and classroom management skills by preparing me for what I might encounter in the field,” she said. “Even though my professors provide me with as much information about classroom management as they can, the best place to practice is during my field placements.”
Weiland and Peters are preparing for what comes next. Weiland will graduate from LVC this year and launch her teaching career. Peters, who already completed her STEM certificate through LVC, will finish her master’s degree in STEM education next year.
-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant