Field Trip Feature: Taste of Teaching


      Have you ever heard of Taste of Teaching? It is a course offered here at Leyden that provides students interested in teaching the chance to gain experience in curriculum development and teaching methods for elementary and middle school students. It also focuses on work related experiences for students who want to pursue a career in education. This course is not only great for anyone interested in education, but also anyone that is exploring new careers and is still trying to figure out their future path. Mrs. Maldonado, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and the instructor of the Taste of Teaching course says that “you gain a true perspective on what it is like to be a teacher or speech and language pathologist.” Students get hands on experience of what it’s like being a teacher. “You select your grade level and a mentor and are onsite 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday).” With this, students get to teach in real classrooms and interact with students in a once in a lifetime opportunity.

     Taste of Teaching also provides students with field trip opportunities to nearby colleges to explore their postsecondary options and get the feel of college and whether it is for them. 

     This past week, the Taste of Teaching students had the opportunity of visiting Elmhurst College. Just 15 minutes from Leyden, Elmhurst College holds a strong reputation with its well-known education and nursing programs. Students were given the chance to speak with professionals in their field and receive guidance and expertise to those interested in becoming teachers. The day was spent on Elmhurst’s campus and mainly consisted of touring the buildings and learning about their educational programs. Morgan Murphy, a senior at East Leyden says, “the campus made me feel like I was at a big university when in reality I was in a small 3,000 student school.” With a total of 3,400 students currently enrolled at Elmhurst and 48 acres of land, the private suburban institution provides its students with the close-knit learning environment of a small school with the endless opportunities of a world-class city. “Their sense of community was huge. Everyone knows each other and supports each other in any way they can.” Elmhurst also offers students plenty of opportunities to explore their interests, discover their passions and reach their goals. “Throughout our visit at Elmhurst, everyone was very welcoming and made us feel supported no matter what our future choices were.” 

     College visits serve to prepare students for the steps in their postsecondary plan and help students figure out exactly how to get started with confidence and assurance. Morgan mentioned that “going on this trip and seeing what it is like being close to home was very eye opening and made me start to weigh my options and understand what steps to take. “Taste of Teaching creates such opportunities for its students as some do not have the chance to go on college visits and depend on finding other ways to attend tours. Mrs. Maldonado says that their  visits are not just general college visits. “They are specific to the education department and allow students to partake in entrance presentations, tours of the campuses plus residence halls and education classroom visits.” Elmhurst College, soon to be called Elmhurst University, is a great option to look into for anyone considering nursing or education as their postsecondary route. 

     For any students who are interested or at least curious about the field of teaching, this amazing course is strongly recommended. You will be given so much support and opportunity to ensure that the education field is the best route for you. “The best experience is real life experience and that is what you will get by taking this class.” Mrs. Maldonado says, “By the end of this course, you will have a completely different outlook for the teaching world and a new perspective on teachers.”