21 December 2021
“I think my favorite part was probably getting to spend time with other members, friends, and people. And you know, doing something nice for people,” said Ella Rhodes, a member of Educators Rising, a club at Atholton.
The club serves to help students who may be considering going into education when they are older or students who just want to help out with activities around the school. Recently the club, the culinary class next door, and some extra helpers joined to make a “Winter Wonderland” themed hallway. It stretches through the D hallway, featuring lights, paper penguins, and masses of snowflakes.The club is full of students who aim to help out and grow their experience in a passion of theirs: education. Some of these students also attend classes during the school day in the Teaching Academy of Maryland (TAM).
“An after school organization for students who are interested in becoming teachers,” noted Ms. Johnson Rolle, a teacher of TAM classes, describing the Educators Rising club. “The main goal is to inspire them and encourage them. Just give them some tips and techniques to be successful.”
The hallway was created for the preschoolers next door, as usually the club would do activities with the kids. This year, because of COVID-19, the club is not yet able to interact with the young students, and is instead finding ways to implement fun into their holiday without contact. In addition to embellishing the hallway the club is also currently making holiday themed gift bags for the kids, according to the club president.
The members of the club seemed to have overall high morale about the project, excited about how the hallway is being perceived. Ms.Johnson Rolle noted that she has received numerous compliments from her colleagues regarding the decorations, and also spoke about the new experience she has had overseeing the club and teaching TAM classes for the first time compared to her past classes.
“I taught honors and GT classes, and so the pace was a lot faster, and with this class I’m enjoying having the freedom to be more creative and to have more dialogue from students. I think that is the biggest thing, as a teacher in general we are able to impact student’s lives, but being able to impact the lives of students that are considering becoming future educators is definitely amazing,” said Ms. Johnson Rolle.
She discussed that while the TAM classes and Educators Rising club are not connected, she does see an overlap of students. The class and club cover different content, and contain different goals, but the ultimate motive is the same: interact with kids and equip skills to become a future educator. The club focuses more on projects, such as the hallway decoration, and can be joined by anyone. They also welcome volunteers to help at meetings.
Amber McCraney, a student who helped with the hallway, said that her favorite part of the project was making the snowflakes with other members of the club and volunteers as it allowed students to be original.“Everybody made their own, so the snowflakes were unique,” said Amber.
The week spent building the project was hectic with students in the hallway cutting snowflakes for the wall, filling batteries in the lights, and finding tall classmates to aid with taping paper on the highest section of the wall. The hallway is now nearly complete with blinking lights, festive signs, fake frost, and even a dancing snowman.
The president of the club emphasized that the club hopes to later embark with more interactive activities with the young students but for now, “We plan on creating ways to incorporate students even through Corona.”
The club has many more plans for the future, and is even continuing to add to the hallway decorations.
As Ms. Johnson Rolle said, “we would love to have you participate in Educators Rising. Our door is open.”