High School Child Care (Transcript)
Narrator: At this high school in a suburb north of Chicago, the sights and sounds of youngsters having fun fill the halls.
Student: Are you ready? Okay, go, shake, shake, shake.
Narrator: In this unique program, high school students learn about early childhood development by teaching lessons for little ones.
Student: So let's all count how many stuffed animals we've got, okay? So throw yours in first, and that's one, two, three--
Karen: This is one of our large motor activities. It's an opportunity for listening and following directions for the children, but also just moving your body, because you know, we need to move our body a lot during the day. We get a little wiggly.
Narrator: The Deer Park Teaching And Learning Center was launched in 1992, when Deerfield High teachers urged the school to provide child care for their children. The center now offers seven child development classes for high school students, with child care tuition covering the salaries of the child development class teachers, and staff at the center.
Karen: We are really a full time lab school for the child development students. It's a great experience for our children, because they get to have more one-on-one time with their high school friends, as they call them.
Student: What color is that? Yellow?
Karen: It's also a great experience for the high school students, because they get to try on a career, apply some of these skills, either at a part time job babysitting, working at a camp. It's also a great experience for them to say, wow, children are a huge responsibility that maybe I'm not quite ready for right now.
Student: Do you want to go there? I'll go, like that.
Karen: But, for the most part, we do have a lot of high school students that get started in our program, just as an elective class, and find their path, saying, I really would like to be a teacher.
Child: Oh no, look.
Jenn: We're taking observations on how the kids develop over time. We write down how they interact with each other, their large motor skills, their small motor skills, and their intellectual development.
Narrator: Child development classes meet four days each week.
That's good, okay.
Narrator: Students spend one day studying child development theory, and three periods each week, getting hands on experience by planning, observing and teaching lessons.
Student: We could like, make fireworks and have a little bouncy balls and shake around bouncy balls or something.
Student: Okay, what colors do you want to use?
Student: Bright colors.
Jenn: I love this class, because I want to be a preschool teacher when I'm older, so it's really great to learn all this now, like, being this young, get to work hands on with them, because you really get to see if it's something you want to work with.
Good night nobody, good night mush.
Karen: I think everybody gets to benefit, whether it's teachers in the high school, who get to come to work with their child every day, get to stop in at lunchtime, it's a great benefit for them, teaching in the building. It's a great experience for the high school student, to have a class where they get to be actively involved, a lab experience. It's also wonderful for our preschoolers--
Jenn: So who liked the old lady with Spring Hush, the best?
Karen: Really, it is a program that anybody could do, and what a wonderful experience for everybody. Everybody wins.
Student: Keep turning. What are they doing?
Narrator: For more information about, What Works in Public Education, go to edutopia.org.