Mexico Trip 2019:

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Teacher Feature: Eric Halverson

This is your second year as a preschool assistant. Can you tell us what are some of the most memorable lessons or centers that you have observed?
I thought that when our amazing lead teachers taught the kids some sign language it was incredibly powerful. The vast majority of the kids were highly engaged throughout the many lessons on that topic. It was a blast to listen as the kids brainstormed out loud about why sign language might be helpful to others, and to see them put the sign language to work in our imaginary restaurant. Even I know how to order bacon in sing language now!

How do you experience inquiry in a preschool classroom?
I’m constantly amazed by the way my lead teachers follow the kids’ inquiries. Recently each of the two groups in our classroom created their own books based on a story they created themselves. When a child’s imagination is sparked and our teachers guide that flame to its full potential, the result leaves me speechless. Preschoolers’ imagination really has no bounds.

What does a preschool assistant do?
I prepare the classroom, get materials ready, provide support for teachers and kids when individual needs pop-up, and generally support the work of my lead teachers throughout the day to execute their plans and meet the needs of our students.

You are getting a masters degree from the University of Montana, what would be your dream job?
My dream job would be to investigate and communicate science for an amazing podcast like Radiolab. I’d also be an astronaut, but I think I’m too stinkin’ tall. Oh oh and I’d totally be Don Quixote in the Man of La Mancha Broadway play.

Tell us something about you that we may not know. Hobby? Bucket list item?
I’m a gummy worm connoisseur, and probably a gummy worm addict. Guys, it’s bad. I have to prevent myself from buying or beginning to eat gummy worms because once I start I can’t stop.