Lexie Still: Elementary Education

Lexie Still: Elementary Education

For senior Lexie Still, leaving campus after Spring Break not only meant leaving Wake Forest, but it also meant saying goodbye to her Kindergarteners at Sherwood Forest Elementary. 

As an Elementary Education major, Still and her peers spent the first semester of their senior years in a Forsyth County classroom, teaching students. Before that, they spent one day a week at a Title 1 school observing the teacher, interacting with students, taking notes, looking at teaching models and working with the teachers on improvement plans. Then, it’s their turn to take the reins. 

“It’s one of the most challenging semesters but also the most rewarding,” Still said. 

For eight to 10 weeks, the students serve as full time teachers 40 hours a week, while the school teacher observes them and ensures they are teaching them the correct lesson plans. They take classes in the afternoons and nights with the education department, essentially balancing a full time job with being a full time student. Still particularly enjoyed teaching Kindergarten because while she was new to the school, so were her students. 

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“It’s really special because you are getting to be the teacher full time and develop close relationships with them,” Still said. “They really look up to you.” 

Since there are only 11 elementary education majors in her class, Still said she had the opportunity to develop close bonds with her peers. During their senior year, they all only take elementary education courses, so they spend every day together. Still feels lucky to have been close with the rest of her cohort. They take methods courses in all of the subjects children learn in school from science, to social studies, language arts and math. 

Still also noted that the majors have the opportunity to get very close with the professors considering they consistently have the same ones. Still noted her close relationships with professors Pat Cunningham, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Donal Mulcahy and Laura Bilton.

On her last day of teaching, all the students planned a surprise for her, a memory she will hold on to as she moves on from Wake Forest. 

“I was reading a story at the front of the carpet and the assistant teacher brought me a basket of school supplies because they all wanted to be part of my future classroom,” Still said. “It’s really sad when you leave.”

Apart from the education department, Still shared her disappointment in her senior year being cut short. However, given that she did not study abroad during the school year, she feels she really made the most of her time at the university. 

“Although it’s really sad not to be there I’m really grateful I was able to spend 3.75 semester on campus,” she said. “They always say to soak it up, because you never realize until it’s gone.”

Most prominently, Still misses sitting out on the quad during the springtime with her friends, but knows pictures and memories will carry her through. She has enjoyed her time in Alpha Delta Pi sorority, citing that being in a sorority was one of the biggest game changers for her at Wake Forest. It’s where she found most of her friends, her support system and family on campus. Additionally, her involvement in RUF was a notable part of her college experience. She enjoyed spending time with likeminded people who challenge her. 

As for after graduation, Still plans on teaching in North Carolina, South Carolina or Tennessee, preferably in Kindergarten, first grade or second grade classrooms.

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