JCJC student pre-school teachers learn “how to fish” to get fully equipped

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2012-10-23 14:32:13

ELLISVILLE – Early Childhood Education Technology students at Jones County Junior College are not only learning how to become teachers, they are also learning “how to fish” for new educational ideas and methods through a unique pilot program. Using the children’s book, Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert, the new Libby Anderson Early Childhood Series was launched with two special guests and the namesake of the program sharing their decade’s worth of education experience and delivered organizational teaching equipment. They were teaching teachers “how to fish” for creative ways to instruct pre-schoolers.
“An interactive student-centered workshop has never been offered in this field,” explained guest instructor, Bobbye (Allum) Caraway from Gulfport, MS. Her twin sister Becky (Allum) Collins from New Iberia, LA and fellow workshop instructor added, “We’re teaching Jones students to develop strategies and methods for teaching, using art and other innovative techniques, so they and the preschoolers they teach, will be successful.”
The two JCJC alumni collaborated with the JCJC ECET instructors to build upon the current program and to fully equip and prepare the 16 student teachers for the preschool classroom.
“A grant from long-time JCJC supporter and alumnus, Buck Anderson is financially supporting the Series and providing students with a pull cart, a jump drive, curriculum binders and other resources for these teachers for when they get their first job in the classroom. His cousins, Caraway and Collins will hold workshops during the year, providing their knowledge and mentoring our students. Buck’s wife, Libby is the inspiration behind the Series, having invested her life in her children,” said JCJC Dean of Career and Technical Education, Candace Weaver.
The Libby Anderson Early Education Series is named after Anderson for several reasons. Libby explained she began college with the goal to become a teacher but started a family and never realized that dream, at least in the traditional manner. Throughout the years she has taught her children and grandchildren and then continued supporting education through volunteering and philanthropy with her husband.
“The story goes that you can cut an apple in half and count the seeds, but only God can count the future apples in those seeds,” explained Libby Anderson to the JCJC students. “I see each of you (students) planting seeds of success in the children you teach in the years to come.”

The Series was hatched after a chance meeting with JCJC ECET instructors and Collins and Caraway. The plan to supplement and reinforce what students are learning in the classroom quickly took root over the summer. JCJC ECET instructor, Judy Prine said she is excited about this new learning opportunity for Jones students.
“They (Carraway and Collins) are seasoned professionals,” said Prine. “They are building upon and applying what we’ve taught our students while also lending their experience in different learning environments.”
Carraway is a licensed speech pathologist with over 36-years experience in her field, working in private and public institutions. She has a passion for serving individuals with communication disorders and brings a new perspective to the program said Prine. Collins is a licensed preschool special education teacher and an accomplished artist. JCJC ECET instructor, Leah Hinton said Collins’ expertise will build upon the Arts Integrated pre-school program which reinforces the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Fine Arts Whole School Initiative, which Jones has actively participated in over the last four years.
“It is really important for seasoned instructors like Carraway and Collins to mentor, share, and show what they’ve learned over the years,” said Hinton. “We need veteran teachers to pass along the knowledge of what works in a variety of different environments. These two ladies are excellent resources and we are very fortunate to have them supplementing our program at Jones.”
The Anderson Education Series for early childhood educators focuses on techniques and hands-on experiential activities in teaching pre-kindergarten. Demonstrating how Jones students can incorporate each component of their college classroom knowledge and knowing how to apply it to the real world, will give JCJC students a head start.
“This was very informative,” said JCJC freshman ECET student, Julia Rayner of Stringer. “Seeing the different techniques will be very helpful in the future.”
The Series will expand to include the parents of the JCJC preschool in the spring, with plans to offer it to an even broader audience the following year.  For more information about the Libby Anderson Early Education Series or the JCJC ECET program, call 601-477-4119 or email: leah.hinton@jcjc.edu.


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