by Public Relations
Cedarville University students get real-world experience in teaching while giving local homeschool elementary kids the chance to learn in a new environment.
Each spring, the junior multi-age physical education majors take the Teaching Elementary Education Physical Education class, during which University students teach a physical education class for homeschooled children of faculty and staff. The children, between the ages of 5 and 12, are divided up by age group and practice fundamental motor skills, participate in group games and learn physical fitness principles.
Teresa Clark, associate professor in the department of kinesiology and allied health, oversees the experience. “The homeschool kids are physically active in an organized curriculum. They are learning to be active and have an opportunity to interact with their peers. The Cedarville students get the experience of teaching children. They’re able to create and implement age appropriate lesson plans. It’s also a good situation for the parents. They have the option of dropping their children off, sitting and collaborating on curriculum with other parents or going to the field house to walk and get their own exercise.”
While Cedarville students enjoy teaching the class, they learn a lot, too. “Elementary PE was never something I wanted to do,” said Michelle McQueen, a senior multi-age physical education major. “I love the younger ones, but wanted to teach the actual sports. My attitude was completely turned around due to the class and coach Clark’s passion. It is so rewarding to see students so excited to be physically active. The smiles, waves, excitement to see you and hugs make your day. That is what teaching is about; making differences in lives. In elementary you are able to see that daily in their attitudes and enthusiasm, just because you care about them.”
The parents also appreciate what it does for their children. “This class adds a dimension to our PE that I cannot do at home,” says Sandra Shortt, a parent who has had two of her children involved in the program. “I look forward to it every spring. It is very well organized — Teresa does a terrific job in encouraging safety and respect while having lots of fun! The students are great and very well prepared. I also enjoy talking with other moms and working out in the fitness center. We will participate in the class as long as it’s offered and we are homeschooling.”
Cedarville University attracts 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.