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The Talon Tribune

The Talon Tribune

Teacher Guest Speakers: the Power Within Our Walls

Kaelyn Vargo
Silver Creek science teacher Stephanie Owen guest lectures in the Integrated 9 class. She shares her experiences living in Sierra Lione.

You walk into your anatomy class ready to learn about reproduction from your science teacher, but standing at the front of your room isn’t Ms. Owen but your freshman-year English teacher. What in the world can your English teacher know about the human body?

Teachers spend countless hours becoming experts in their subject areas. They often spend their summers improving their techniques and learning new content to deliver to their students. However, sometimes, the best lessons come from someone else. At Silver Creek, our walls are filled with teachers and faculty members who can expand their knowledge to another classroom and we should work to include them in other classrooms more often.

Each year, the Integrated World Studies class spends a unit learning about the continent of Africa. They read books centered around various historical events, take notes on colonization, and hear from a special guest who shares their knowledge from real-world experiences.

Justelle Grandsaert, a history teacher at Silver Creek, feels that bringing in other teachers provides more than what she can give students through notes and short films.

“[Guest teachers] provide our students with another perspective of culture and travel and seeing the world globally.”

Not only do the students benefit from seeing their teachers deliver new content, but the host teachers gain insights they may not receive elsewhere.

“It’s amazing because students can read articles or listen to videos about a specific country or culture, but by listening to someone and learning from someone who’s actually been there, the value I get is that it makes the learning much more interesting for the students…and I get to listen which is pretty cool,” Grandsaert explains.

Teachers also can use these experiences to become better teachers themselves.

“I think guest speaking allows teachers to step out of their comfort zone a bit. I know how to teach science and I know how to interact with ‘my’ students” explains science teacher Stephanie Owen. “When I speak in other classes I have to think about how to connect with students in a different way.”

Oftentimes, students are surprised to see other content teachers in their classes ready to present new ideas. While teachers might not be the experts in that content area, they can humanize the content for the students.

“As a science teacher, I don’t bring in other teachers for their academic expertise per se, but for their life experiences,” Owen explains. “I can teach the facts, but I cannot give a first-hand account of how the content I teach affects people’s daily lives or how they use the content in a career.”

Students see the benefits of teachers as guest speakers as well. Silver Creek junior Anna Longenecker explains how learning about twins in psychology was more beneficial when history teacher Kirsten Brown shared her experience with the class.

“I like it when they tell us stories about themselves…We can see them from a different perspective,” Longenecker reflected.

Silver Creek’s classrooms are full of amazing teachers who deliver content beyond their classrooms and into the minds of other students. Students, teachers, and administrators alike should take advantage of the experiences teachers have outside of their content areas.

“I think we can see teachers as real humans,” Silver Creek junior Mannaz Ezzat explains. “When they share their experience we see them as more than just people who grade papers.”

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About the Contributor
Kaelyn Vargo
Kaelyn Vargo, Advisor
Mrs. Vargo is the advisor of the Talon Tribune. She teaches English at Silver Creek High School and loves teaching journalism. In her spare time, she spends time with her family and dogs.

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