Educating through Kindness

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“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” I love this quote shared by Illinois Eta Hannah Levin that is from R.J. Palacio’s book “Wonder.” It is fitting that Hannah chooses a quote from a book; she is studying Elementary Education with a Special Education endorsement. It is something she has always seen herself doing. She understands it is easy to get frustrated, but at the end of day, choosing to be kind makes her a happier version of herself.

This past semester, Hannah spent Mondays and Fridays earning fieldwork hours at a school just five minutes from the Millikin University campus. The school is different than other schools in the Decatur public school because of its concentration on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In the fifth grade class Hannah works with students in small groups focused on reading; the small group instruction allows for focus on individual learning.

It is in her Math, Science and Reading Methods classes in which she learned how to teach. Additionally, she taught four lessons so far focused on math and reading. It is through this internship she sees what methods make or break it in the classroom.

Most of her students come from low-income families or have experienced some sort of trouble, but Hannah doesn’t focus on that. She works to create a connection and know them as individuals listening to their background stories, but also helping each child to understand their future potentials.

Hannah is thriving in a classroom environment. She is looking forward to her senior year as she will spend time in a special education classroom and spend the second part of the year student teaching. It is wonderful to know someone with Hannah’s passion for students and desire to spread kindness will be in the classroom with our young ones as their primary educator.

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