Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Year At ALEC: From A Duquesne University Student

Hi everyone!  For those of you who have not met me, my name is Shannon.  As a student in the Duquesne University School of Education I was looking for a way to gain more teaching experience and loved spending time with students.  Lucky for me, I found the perfect work study job— working at ALEC.

During this past school year, I got to work alongside ALEC’s awesome KEYS AmeriCorps members, Steven and Sarah and, of course, Ms. Dianna and Ms. Amber.  I was at ALEC on Tuesdays which meant I got to participate in science days!  This meant doing experiments that were as much fun for me to try as they were for the students.  Making playdough and catapults, having races to put skeletons together, making colors explode, learning weird anatomy facts… there was never a dull moment.

I have also loved seeing how all of the ALEC students have branched out and tried so many new healthy foods.  Some of these foods they have even gotten to help grow themselves in our outdoor learning space.  We get to try a healthy new snack each day and, yes, I have learned a few new recipes for myself, too.

Not only did I get to work on site at ALEC, I also got to be part of the New Artists program at Philips Elementary School with Miss Sarah.  We had a very talented (and hilarious) group.  They got to show off all of their hard work at our Cinco de Mayo themed art show at the end of the year.

I also got to enjoy spending my summer at ALEC with Miss Megan.  From gardening at Eco Camp to kayaking at Outdoors Camp, it was the most sun I had seen in a while.  I loved it!  Not only did I enjoy seeing the students doing something that was new to them, but I got to try so many things that I had never done before either.  Building robots with Mr. Dave from the Y Creator Space and geocaching with Venture Outdoors were definitely new to me.

Between the after school program, Saturday programs, and the New Artist club, I have gotten to spend time with so many unique kids who have each taught me something different about myself and teaching.  Sometimes I think I’ve learned more from them than they have from me!!

Though we have done so many fun activities and met so many awesome people, sometimes my favorite part of working at ALEC has been free time.  From intense four- square games at summer camps to dance parties and running man challenges on the weekends, there has never been a dull moment.

I could not be happier to have gotten to spend my year with such inspirational and supportive team members as well as a great group of kids.  My year at ALEC has been a blast and I am looking forward to the next one.


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