Head of class: Senior paves path for future through cadet teaching

Lindsey Davis/Staff Writer

Children commonly answer the classic “What do you want to be when you grow up” question with a teacher or doctor. Through the adolescent years, many outgrow this desire, but still lots of students wish to go on to college to pursue a teaching career. What better way to season one’s skills than with cadet teaching? Meg Lane, a Cedar Falls senior, already knows the benefits this class holds.

Senior Meg Lane shares a hug with some of her students. (Erin Keiser photo)

“I decided to do cadet teaching because I really wanted to see if I would like being a teacher. I had been playing around with the idea of majoring in teaching for a while, so this was kind of my deciding factor, and I ended up loving it. I couldn’t imagine now not taking that class,” Lane said.

Lane did her cadet teaching with Mrs. Hancock’s kindergarten class at Hansen Elementary. Now she goes back every other day during morning classes until lunch. Even though her enrollment in a cadet teaching class is officially over, this semester she is continuing her teaching explorations.

“I do a variety of things, from helping out with lunch stuff to being a recess supervisor. I aid Mrs. Hancock by working on extra skills out in the hallway like writing their names or recognizing words and shapes. I also helped decorate the room with the kids’ art, and I go to special activities like music or art class,” Lane said.

Being able to help and interact with the kids is Lane’s favorite part of cadet teaching. She played an important part in helping the students learn their alphabet and numbers, which are the two huge subjects in kindergarten years.

“It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but they are at the age that everything is new, and they just want to learn it all. That’s really my favorite part, watching them grow to be ‘big first graders’ as they put it. It gives you that awesome feeling to know you’ve helped impact a child’s life,” Lane said.

She said she is definitely going to pursue a career in education after high school and hopes to become a science teacher. Without cadet teaching, Lane may have never discovered her passion for teaching.

“This whole experience has taught me so much as a student and person. Teaching isn’t just about meeting standards and getting an A. It’s about caring about the kids you’re teaching and making sure they can succeed so that they can achieve whatever they want to do in life.”

Cadet teaching has paved a path for Lane’s future, but as she moves on to college, she will fiercely miss this kindergarten class that has taught her so much.

“They know what to say to make me laugh or just smile, and I will miss every moment of that. I have loved watching them grow into big kids, and I wish I could continue to watch them grow and achieve. They are all such great, smar kids,” Lane said.

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