Students to teachers: Hardin-Simmons hosts Dream Catchers Camp

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Usually college education students have to wait until their senior year to get hands on experience leading a classroom but for a few students at Hardin-Simmons, they’re getting their student teaching started a little bit earlier.

One of those students is Madeline Lowry, who’s path to teaching was paved from the beginning.

“I come from a family of teachers and so it’s always been something I thought maybe I could do at some point,” said Lowry. “I always saw myself in a classroom of little people.”

Having her own classroom was something Lowry always imagined but never actually experience, that was until now, standing front and center on her own stage.

“That kind of gives us ownership of our teaching for the first time,” said Lowry.

It’s all part of Hardin-Simmons Dream Catcher camp, turning students into teachers.

“I’ve had classes where I’ll go out and teach a 30 minute reading lesson or a 15 minute math lesson but having them for a few hours at a time, I don’t know it’s totally different,” said Lowry.

Throughout the two week camp, each Hardin-Simmons student is in charge of leading their own classroom from the paperwork to the lesson.

“You know you hear all these things over and over again in our education classes but actually learning the importance of structure and pacing,” said Lowry. “It’s not just words on a page. It’s 20 little faces in a classroom that you’re actually getting to interact with.”

It’s an experience that for others in the education field say they never got to experience.

“When I was in school you know you observed but there really wasn’t a ton of hands on, you’re more watching how is the teacher doing this, you’re not actually participating in a ton of it,” said Abilene ISD teacher Meghen Anderson. “I think this camp gives the students prospective before they’re out there student teaching.”

14 Hardin-Simmons students are participating in the camp and each is mentored by either and Alum or Abilene ISD teacher.

Dream Catchers concludes on Friday.

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