By Chaze Patrick, Outreach and Engagement Marketing Assistant
Madison Loehrlein knows she has potential.
The elementary education major accredits her passion for teaching to her own experience as a student. “Ever since I was little, I’ve always looked up to my teachers. I love how they have such an impact on children’s lives and never give up!”
Enrolling in the University of Southern Indiana’s Reading Methods course allows her to experience the intersection between mentoring and skill building.
Since spring 2013, this course connects USI students with local children, grades kindergarten through five, and prepares them for life as an educator. USI students gain teaching experience as “Reading Buddies” through lesson plan creation, coaching and take-home lessons each session.
“I take notes and incorporate that into my lesson for next week,” said Loehrlein. “You get to put all the knowledge you gained through the other courses to use.”
Children from all over southwest Indiana are referred to the program from their teachers as a supplemental resource. At the start of each semester, students are provided with an initial assessment to gauge areas of advancement. The results from the assessment present both Reading Buddies and students with a roadmap for the semester.
Commitment is the key component to success in the semester-long program. Loehrlein adds, “They want someone who is willing to challenge them and stick with them.”
Loehrlein helps her student become comfortable with sight words by using a stack of flash cards.
“It is a good feeling to see how much smaller that stack is getting. He is shocked every time, because he has no idea what he is capable of.”As she reaches commencement next year and aspires to teach in her own classroom, she is committed to leaving a legacy for the next generation.
“How cool it would be if I were the one who taught him and made the impact?”