High school students visit preschool for on-site learning

High school child development students at JELAJOHNSTON, IA (Jan. 10, 2022) — Even the school district’s youngest children have something to teach those already in high school.

Students in Laura Bertroche’s child development class at Johnston High School recently visited preschoolers at the Johnston Early Learning Academy (JELA), which serves more than 300 students from ages 2 to 4.

The high school students have been learning about the physical, intellectual, emotional and cognitive development of toddlers and preschoolers. The visit to JELA provided some hands-on learning.

“I love that we can collaborate together and give real authentic learning opportunities to our IMG 9092students,” said Joy Palmer, principal at the Johnston Early Learning Academy.

The visit included hand washing followed by valuable interaction with the young children such as reading books, painting and playing games. The high schoolers got to see the tiny toilets used by 2-year-olds, and sat in little chairs or on the floor to get down to the same level as the little ones.

The final class project for the high school students will be to create a lesson they could give to preschoolers, and show how the activity meets all the areas of child development they’ve been learning about.

“Being able to come here to the Johnston Early Learning Academy and see it in action helps them to deliver their lesson in an effective way,” Bertroche said. “It also helps them to gain ideas of what it even looks like to even be in a classroom setting.”

High school students visit JELAPalmer also spoke to the high school students about how early childhood is different than elementary school. For example, there are different guidelines on how much space must be available for each child, and what temperature it must be to go outside. And some of the JELA students are still undergoing potty training.

Working with kids may be in the high school students’ future. In fact, some of them already have jobs in a daycare setting. Palmer invited them to return to the Johnston Community School District after graduation, to work as teachers or associates.