Being selected for Kenan Fellows has definitely changed how I look at my classroom on a regular basis. There has been exposure to different types of teaching skills as well as the desire to open my students to learning. The creation of the Sugar Shack in my Personal Finance class was the activity that has enlightened me this year. I was amazed by my ability to spend a month at Central Electric learning about the ins and outs of an electric cooperative then parlay it into a relevant lesson in the classroom. After lengthy discussions with the class about what I actually did over the summer it was a lot of fun watching them work through the challenges of setting up a candy cooperative. I believe the “ah-ha”moment occurred when the class discovered that while in their respected positions in Sugar Shack they mirrored the responsibilities of Central Electric’s employees. I noticed that as time passed and the candy cooperative continued, my students became more enthusiastic about the project. There were days when they came in and showed excitement about running the organization and even as the project was coming to an end, they requested to extend it. I believe that they discovered that the more effort you put in the project the more excited the student body became about it.
The professional development I was exposed to during this school year by Kenan has been a factor t that has changed the dynamic in my classrooms. I have turned my rooms from areas where I did the teaching to an environment where I have allowed their curiosity to lead the lessons. The excitement that they feel on certain objective has made my teaching day less stressful and more enjoyable for them. Even though the school year is coming to an end I believe that as time passes I will become an even more improved teacher and my students will thrive and succeed for it! I highly recommend to all teachers in North Carolina to apply for a fellowship with Kenan if the opportunity is available. It is life-changing!