Nunapitchuk Algebra I Students are Teacher For A Day

Wink wink! High School Algebra I students in Nunapitchuk participate in their "Teacher for a Day" program where they spend time teaching children in the younger grades. photo by Lonny Cruff

Nunapitchuk, AK – Students in the Algebra 1 classes at Anna Tobeluk Memorial School recently participated in an extension activity that saw them breaking into small groups and teaching a math lesson to students in elementary grades. Algebra teachers Bo Sahr and Lonny Cruff grouped students and assigned them to a grade level, then elementary teachers provided input on what topic their kids were learning so the high school students could help the younger students understand the topics better.

“A famous physicist once said, ‘You don’t really understand something until you can explain it to a six-year-old,’” said Cruff. Having students share their knowledge with younger students is only one of the reasons for having them participate in this activity.

Algebra teacher Sahr added, “We also like the kids to know what it is that teachers do every day with lesson planning and delivery. It gives these kids a chance to see what it feels like when one of the younger kids really understands what they’re being taught. You can’t beat that feeling when you see them understand!”

This year marks the 4th year that ATMS Algebra 1 students have participated in the Teacher for a Day project. In addition to the learning that both the high school and elementary students achieve, this is also a way to let students know what it’s like to be a teacher, at least for a day.

“I tell the kids every year that I’m trying to recruit my replacement,” says Cruff, “I won’t be here forever, and I want to make sure that these great students of mine are thinking about the opportunity to really make a long-term difference in their community by becoming a teacher.” Who knows, maybe someday we’ll see one of these Teacher for a Day participants standing in front of their own classroom somewhere in the Lower Kuskokwim School District!

Photos and article are courtesy of Lonny Cruff/Nunapitchuk School.