Prospective Educators Learn in Grow Your Own Teachers Program

by Calvin Bonansinga, WVTV Reporter

Waubonsie Valley teacher Lynn Baranek leads a conversation with students in a Grow Your Own Teachers meeting. (photo credit / WVTV)

AURORA – Students at Waubonsie Valley High School participated in the Grow Your Own Teachers program this week. Students in the program were able to observe teachers from elementary, middle and high schools within Indian Prairie School District 204.

“Grow Your Own Teachers is a club that’s in-school,” said senior Kayla Newburg, “and you get to go observe other teachers in the district, and it’s like student teaching and it gives you a preview.”

“Grow Your Own Teachers is a program where if you want to be a teacher, you are able to kind of get a feel out for what you’re expecting,” said senior Shauna Cleveland.

“I did the preschool at Waubonsie and I just love kids a lot and I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” said senior Kelsey Shah, “so I thought this was a great club to join to gain experience of having teacher observation hours.”

“So I decided to get involved in Grow Your Own because I have always wanted to be a teacher,” said senior Sara Taylor. “Actually my older sister, she is in college for elementary education, and so that really pushed me to go into elementary education and go to be in this program and Educators Rising, so I can get what I need to be prepared to do this in college.”

The program provides students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a teacher in the classroom, often times getting to visit their own classroom when they were younger students.

“I went back to my elementary school,” said Shah, “so I was with my fifth grade teacher and I got to help grade papers, and I got to interact with the kids, and it was a lot of fun.”

“I got to pick where I wanted to go, so I went to my elementary school and observed with my third grade teacher, and it was so fun,” said Cleveland.

“I was in my fifth grade class that I actually went to at Fry [Elementary] so I had my fifth grade teacher,” said Taylor, “and I actually got to teach two lessons in it. So that was super fun. The kids were awesome. The teacher was amazing.”