Part of my position is to lead a gardening and nutrition class aimed at 4-8 year old kids and their families. I’m very excited that I got the opportunity to lead this class – it initially wasn’t part of the plan for my internship. At the beginning of my internship, my supervisor Ebonie asked what kinds of things I wanted experience with, and getting to work with kids and their families was one of them.
Once I knew I was going to be helping to teach this class, I was super nervous and excited. Working with kids and teaching are two things that I’ve had experience with and thoroughly enjoy, but I’d never actually taught little kids (I’ve worked with kids in small groups and individually, but the only class I’ve ever taught has been a college-level seminar). I was honestly terrified that I wouldn’t be able to hold the kids’ attention, or that I’d be super boring to them.
The first two sessions, Ebonie ran the majority of the class, and I taught a small portion of it and essentially was a class aide. On the third week, Ebonie was unable to make the class because she had inadvertently agreed to lead an info session at the same time. This left me to lead the class on my own. For this first class, I did so much preparation – I legitimately practiced the entire lesson alone in my office. It paid off – that first class I taught by myself was amazing. The kids were super engaged and excited, and I think they learned a lot about insects in the garden and metamorphosis.
I left work that day feeling elated and feeling sure that I want to incorporate teaching into my life in the future. I absolutely love being able to see kids’ curiosity turn into wonder, and I love being able to play games and be a little silly. I’m thinking that I would love to volunteer to teach classes like this one at community centers or other nonprofits in the future. Something that I have thought of for a while is that I might go into teaching at a high-school or college level in a number of years after I have had some industry experience. Some of my the best teachers I’ve had followed that route, and I am considering doing so as well.
Anyways, teaching the garden and nutrition class has been my favorite part about interning at Brilliant Detroit. I’ve become much more comfortable planning activities and getting in front of the class for an hour. Yesterday was the last class I will teach, and I was sad that I had to say goodbye.