Middle Childhood Education video & transcript

[Danielle Gruhler, assistant professor] Hi, my name is Danielle Gruhler, and I am on the Literacy Education faculty in the College of Education, Health and Human Services. And a good part of my teaching is in the Middle Childhood Education program. The Middle Childhood Education program focuses on teacher candidates who would like to teach somewhere in the fourth through ninth grades.

Something important to know about Middle Childhood: Our teacher candidates choose two of four content areas in which to focus and specialize their teaching. The four content areas are English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics. Our teacher candidates in Middle Childhood choose any combination, two of those four content areas.

[Jeremy Matics, student] I did my two weeks of intense teaching. During this time, I had a week in social studies, and I had a week in science. I planned two different units to teach. It was very difficult - it was a lot of work, but in the end it's very rewarding when you get to actually teach it and see that your students are having fun using different instructional methods and strategies. You could actually see when your students got it. For my final assessments in each unit, I did Jeopardy, and actually had students coming up in the hall, telling me how much fun they had. They had never, ever done anything like that in school. So it was very rewarding as a teacher, just to see your students react like that.

[LaTonya Jackson, student] In Streetsboro, I really enjoyed being there with them - a very good mix of students there. And I think something that was really memorable was just trying to tap into students who maybe had lower self-esteem. But I began to say my slogan to them and tell them they are born to win, and I began to identify the leadership qualities in them, and then they exemplified it just by me telling them that they were a leader, where in times past they were in the back, and not really coming forward. So think that's something that really sticks out - if we believe in our students, then they will prove to us that they can be leaders.

[Maria D'Abate, student] We got opportunities to help in the classroom; we were encouraged to take initiative with our mentor teachers; we could teach as much as we wanted. But just getting in the classroom and being able to be immersed in the atmosphere of a young classroom was a good opportunity. We had to develop a unit as a group, so we had a lot of support from each other in our cohorts, which was really nice.

[Meghan Barker, student] I feel that Kent State has prepared me to teach by giving me the time to be in front of a classroom, because the experience you get there - you can't compare it to anything else. It's nothing like sitting in a classroom and reading out of a textbook. You actually have the opportunity to be in front of students, and then, when we do have classes, we have the opportunity to learn more about teaching than we ever thought we could just by being in front of the classroom, and learn how to take the temperature of a classroom and to really understand our students.

[Aerica Booker, student] Dr. Sandmann, I had last semester, she was amazing - her drive, the way she was dedicated what she was teaching us was just over-the-top. I just felt so comfortable with her - she connected with us, and she supported everything that we do. Dr. Gruhler, she's also another amazing professor - you can truly feel that it comes from the heart. When you walk in her classroom, the atmosphere is just so welcoming, and you're so engaged to what she has to teach you.

[Dr. Gruhler] So there are a lot of experiences in the classroom that our students engage with in order to get them ready to teach. And I guess I would have to speak for the Middle Childhood faculty - and I can do so pretty confidently - when I say that we really engage students in learning.