Spark! Teaching and Learning immerses students in teaching and learning. Students will understand learning styles, teaching methodologies, technology integration, cultural responsiveness and a focus on data-driven decision making in the schooling system. Students will engage in a collaborative relationship between teachers, administrators, students and families. This experience will focus on the general theory and practice of learning and teaching; the basic principles of educational psychology; the art of teaching; the planning and administration of educational activities; and the social foundations of education. Students will experience the true essence of the teaching and learning process through observation, interaction and teaching. Students may participate in Spark! for two consecutive years if their schedule allows.
Spark! Teaching & Learning meets at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School in the Parkway School District.
Dual credit is available through University of Missouri – St. Louis, Lindenwood University and Maryville University.
Projects/Professional Learning Communities
A key component of Spark! Teaching & Learning is to learn through real world experiences, including solving real-world problems and collaboratively designing projects. Below is a sampling of some of these projects:
- Design Challenges (“Tubs of Fun”) for elementary students to be used during indoor recess
- Plan and teach lessons aligned to state standards
- Assist in library Makerspaces, including planning and implementing challenges
- Plan and present at the Parkway School District Career Fair to 8th graders about Spark! Teaching & Learning and the field of education
- Assist in Highcroft Ridge Elementary classrooms
- Plan and organize activities for STEM Expo at Southwest Middle and Highcroft Ridge Elementary
- Participate in Pumpkin Run, Trunk or Treat, Curriculum Night, Meet N’ Greet and Literacy Night at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School
- Mentor elementary students (weekly check-in and tutoring)
Site Visits/Field Trips
Spark! Teaching & Learning students gain a greater understanding of education and teaching through site visits and and field trips. Here are some examples:
- Wyland Elementary School (observations, discussions, and questions/answers)
- Lee Hamilton Elementary School (observations, discussions, and questions/answers)
- Ritenour Early Childhood Center (Read for the Record)
- Macy’s Build a Wardrobe
- Highcroft Ridge Elementary (Jump in and assist weekly)
- Hawthorne School (observations, discussions, and questions/answers)
- Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum (meet with Education Director and explore developmental milestones of exhibits)
- Field Experience (work parallel with classroom teacher plus write and teach 3 lessons)