Friday, March 10, 2006

Second grade déjà vu

Aspiring teacher learns from former mentor

Express Staff Writer

Second-grade teacher Lu Ann Metzel, left, welcomes her former student Amy Harrison as a student-teacher this year.

Amy Harrison is in command of her former second-grade classroom.

"Amy was an excellent student when she was little," said Lu Ann Metzel, Bellevue Elementary School second-grade teacher. "She had an obvious love of learning. She loved books, so its not surprising at all that she chose this profession."

Harrison returned to Bellevue Elementary in January to work as student-teacher. Nearly 15 years before, Harrison sat in Metzel's classroom as a second-grade student.

"She obviously had a good experience here," Metzel said.

A senior at the University of Idaho, Harrison is completing a blended certificate that consists of special education, early childhood development and elementary education degrees. College requirements call for a student-teaching experience. She returned to Bellevue Elementary to teach under her former teacher's supervision.

"I was just thinking about the best teachers that would be the best role models. She is a phenomenal teacher," Harrison said.

Metzel's dedication to education runs in her family. She was born and raised in Hailey. Her mother, Hazel Stevens, was her second-grade teacher at Hailey Elementary School. Metzel taught for one year with her mother, and has taught in the Blaine County School District for 23 years.

Harrison said she admires Metzel's devotion to her students, noting her attention to individual students' needs.

"She was my teacher, so I knew first hand," Harrison said.

The young teacher has the opportunity to incorporate Metzel's style into her own lessons. This week Harrison has full charge of the second-graders. The student-teaching opportunity consists of a 10-week program that begins with observation and progressively leads into full control of the classroom.

"I feel very comfortable that I can walk out the door and she can take over," Metzel said.

Harrison completes her student-teaching assignment with Metzel next week. She will then teach special education at Bellevue's Developmental Preschool. All the practice leads to graduation. After graduation, Harrison, who is engaged, is unsure whether she will return to the valley after graduation.

"I wouldn't mind coming back here," she said.

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