For the past couple of years we have had a wonderful insect & reptile expert visit our summer day camp. He is extremely knowledgeable about insects and reptiles, is able to connect with the children, and he speaks with a great deal of passion. What is even more amazing is the fact that he is a seventh grader! He actual is a former preschool student of ours, and has matured into an extraordinary young man.
From a very young age, Matt had a curiosity and love for insects which was supported and nurtured by his parents. By reading dozens of books and mentoring with bug experts, Matt has become an expert himself. His parents have given him opportunities and resources for him to expand his passion. They themselves have also become experts. Matt’s little sister Paige has even become part of the presentation by helping bring in all the totes and boxes, as well as handing him each creature during the “show.”
As our summer campers interacted with Matt, I was thrilled to watch how interested they were, how courageous they were to touch and feel, and how “cool” they thought Matt was. It’s a wonderful site to observe an older child teach a younger child something new.
It got me thinking….why don’t we do this more often in child care? So many of our school age students and/or alum students may have skills and talents that they could share with our younger classes….dance, martial arts, instruments, yoga, drawing, sports. An adult teacher/presenter obviously has advantages; however, it is clear to me that child-teachers have a quality that is unique and wonderful!
Here is a picture of Matt and his “assistant” Paige sharing the wonders of insects and reptiles with our summer campers! Matt – thanks for a wonderful morning of fun and learning…we are so proud of you!