Student Spotlight

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Student Spotlight

“This isn’t a vacation,” says Melissa Kirk, a junior art education major from Laurel Springs, Camden County.

Along with 20 other education majors and two faculty members, Kirk spent 12 days over winter break teaching schoolchildren in India. It’s one thing to learn about diversity in a classroom setting, says Kirk, and quite another to be shown, “This is the world, and this is what’s beyond our borders.”

Each day, the students walk miles to school, crossing over mountains in bare feet to classrooms that have no desks. Their homes don’t have electric, or heat or, sometimes, roofs. Yet, Kirk says, “These children are happy. Their families come and pick them up, they walk home and then work on the farm. They do not compare themselves to others, or see that they are lacking in anything.”

Co-teaching with two fellow Rowan teacher candidates, Kirk developed lesson plans and taught English to 7th and 8th graders. “We had 70 students crammed in a classroom space about the size of an average American bedroom,” she says.

Kirk believes that the lessons she taught while in India also taught her, as they will help her to become a better prepared, more well-rounded future educator.

Teach & Discover India 2016