A box of crayons is the sun on a dreary day…”

–from the poem “A Box of Crayons”

While a box of crayons is often the tool young artists use most, a group of Youth University students at UTC learned crayons come from different places and each one’s appearance is unique, much like the people in their classroom.

governors-school-2014-19This clever lesson was explored by a group of four student teachers attending Governors School for Prospective Teachers, held annually on the UTC campus to “encourage Tennessee’s brightest students to consider teaching as their profession. The program includes an overview of the myths and realities of the education profession, an examination of effective teaching strategies, resource availability, computer and other technological applications, observations and critiques of teaching performances, analysis of exemplary teaching and an introspective view of learning and teaching styles.”

A.J. Richard from Ooltewah High School, selected to participate in Governor’s School, reinforced the lesson learned—it’s more fun to draw with multiple colors than it is to draw with one crayon.

The classroom experience was the culmination of a month of preparation for Richard and fellow participants high school participants.  Richard enjoyed everything about the experience, including exploring Chattanooga attractions.   Described by his student colleagues as an “entertainer” when he learns and teaches, Richard was glad his mother suggested Governor’s School.

“It has been an amazing experience,” Richard said.  “I have learned a lot and gained a lot of friendships.”

Lauren Leisenrig and Sarah Rose both came from families of educators.  Leisenrig’s mother, a former teacher, encouraged her to take another route, but Leisenrig had the opposite opinion.

“I have a passion for teaching!” she exclaimed.  “Without education, a child basically has nothing.  I want to teach K-2.  I’ve already participated in an education program in Knoxville and I’ve been in the classroom helping to teach in several situations.”

Rose’s mother and grandmother have been teachers and principals, and they have encouraged her to teach.

“I was a little nervous coming into Governor’s School because it lasts for a month and I wondered if I would make friends.  There have been no issues and we all bonded quickly.  I really enjoyed working with other people in the classroom,” Rose said.

Nicole Penick’s grandmother mentioned Governor’s School to her, and she was glad she did.  Described by her student colleagues as a great “one on one” future educator, Penick felt her positive experience had a lot to do with everyone involved.  Penick and all the students had high marks for JoAnne Cook, UTC faculty and an administrator in the Center for Career Education at UTC.  Richard called Cook “the sweetest lady on earth who wants us to do well and wants us to feel comfortable.”

Dr. Beth Crawford helped write the original proposal for Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers 23 years ago, and she has been directing the program for many years.

Eleanor Thompson lived with the students in the 2014 Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers and arranged their transportation, helped plan their meals and a number of logistics for Governor’s School.

“It has been a great group.  They get along well and they are excited about teaching,” she said.

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