I (heart) teaching with SMART Boards… at the age of 13
By Emily Sparago
Dodd Middle School, Cheshire, Connecticut
I hope you got a chance to read my first post on June 20, where I shared my passion and love for teaching and SMART Boards . In today’s post, I’m going to share my experience teaching student teachers… an experience I’ll hold onto forever.
My mother got a job at Quinnipiac University School of Education in Hamden, Connecticut and I often visited over the summer. It was the perfect place for me. I loved the professors there, too. After learning about my passion for teaching, the assistant Dean there asked me to teach her class. I was beyond nervous but could not refuse the offer! I had prepared a model lesson on area and perimeter (designed for third-grade). Another part of my lesson was to inform them on a new way to create a lesson plan. I stood up in front of that college-graduate class and was just amazed. I felt so lucky to have this opportunity! I must admit – I was very nervous; I had to stand up in front of students at least twelve years older than me (at the time). But I was having fun and I loved the class, plus, I think that they got a lot out of it. Hearing comments throughout the class, I believe that they were intrigued by me, seeing as I was a sixth-grader and they definitely took something away from that. Not many kids can say that they stood up and taught in a college class, but I can.
My next teaching experience features the SMART Board interactive whiteboard. Again, at Quinnipiac, a different professor asked me to be a guest teacher and help the students with a popular classroom product – the SMART Board. I accepted eager as can be. Now I was teaching my best subject! Math was never my greatest strength, but SMART Boards are. Creating a handout explaining what each button does on the SMART Notebook toolbars, I thought would help them understand and learn the function of each. They were also able to take home or leave the handout in the classroom to use as a guide. So I spent time creating that, screen capturing each button, and elaborating on its function. They did appreciate this, and the presentation I gave as well – they told me this at the question-and-answer I was involved in at the end. While I was still nervous standing up in front of, yet again, college-graduates, I was more relaxed because I knew this information like the back of my hand.
From there on after, I’ve set up private sessions with college students and professors, eager to know more about the SMART Board. The first student I helped specialized in elementary education; knowing this I put together, what I call, a “screenshot walkthrough” – I screenshot the steps to making an interactive and fun elementary lesson incorporating the SMART Board. I loved the questions they asked, how engaged they were and the ability to teach one-on-one with someone yearning to learn.
I hope to teach again soon – and if I don’t, then in 10 years maybe I’ll be in Quinnipiac University School of Education interning and student teaching. But where ever my “teaching career” takes me, I know the SMART Board will be right there with me.
If you missed it, please read my first post, I (heart) SMART Boards: my experience thus far, at the age of 13, and watch for more of my posts coming this summer.
About the author
Emily Sparago is a soon-to-be high school freshman at Dodd Middle School in Cheshire, Connecticut, with a passion for teaching and technology. Sparago has wanted to be a teacher since she was five years old. Her first experience using a SMART Board was in third-grade and it was love at first sight for Emily. Ever since then, she’s been researching SMART Boards and secretly craving one. It was three years ago when Sparago brought it to her parents’ attention that she wanted her own SMART Board.
After raising the money, she reached her goal and purchased a SMART Board interactive whiteboard. Word quickly got out, not only about Sparago’s SMART Board, but also her love of teaching. Since then, she has had the opportunity to be a guest teacher at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut on a few different occasions and she hopes to teach more in the future.