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Education students get field experience in local Head Start classroom

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Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Perhaps it was meeting the class frogs that did it, but for Michaela Libell, spending some time in a Head Start pre-kindergarten classroom taught her one very important thing: she has chosen the right profession for her future.

Libell, along with eight other junior early childhood/special education majors and three seeking their post-baccalaureate certification, conducted field research in language observation and development at the Wilmington Area Elementary School in early September.

Using a speech and language chart, Libell and her fellow students were able to conduct observational assessments while interacting with the three- and four-year-old students in the classroom.

Libell, who has worked with children since she was a junior in high school, explained that she still never knows what opportunities each teaching experience will bring her.

“The classroom presented a difficult age range of students to work with,” Libell said. “Those ages are prime in development, and the children are all at different stages of their lives.”

Nevertheless, Libell seemed to get along just fine in the classroom as she joined students at the room’s science exploration center, where they introduced her to their class frogs and taught her how they use a microscope. She also read with a student and got another to engage in the story they were reading.
Libell explained that her recent experience at Wilmington Elementary solidified that she has chosen the right profession for her future.
“I have a passion for working and teaching children, and I am so thankful that Westminster offers students opportunities to take what they are learning in the classroom and implement it outside of the classroom setting,” Libell said.
Other juniors who participated in the experiential learning opportunity included Catherine Lund, Robert Miller, Abagail Morrison, McKenna Robinson, Ashley Russell, Hannah Santom and Kaitland Schrantz. Students seeking their post-baccalaureate certification included Jenna Rinker, Brant Sloan and Ashley Stubbs.

Coursework for Westminster’s early childhood/special education majors is frequently conducted in surrounding schools. The mediated field work provides pre-service teachers with guided practice as they learn skills in a variety of settings.

For more information, contact Diana Reed, lecturer of early childhood education in the School of Education, at 724-946-7181 or

~ Danielle Grady '20