‘Bears in Bibb’ gives Mercer education students unique opportunity
Mercer University education students spent the day in the Bibb County School District touring different types of schools.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Mercer University education students spent the day in the Bibb County School District touring different types of schools.
From different age groups to different types of programs, they call the day “Bears in Bibb.”
About 40 Mercer students traveled throughout the district Wednesday in order to immerse themselves in schools they might not have seen otherwise.
Dr. Loleta Sartin, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the Tift College of Education at Mercer University, hopes once students become teachers, they’ll refer back to days like these.
“They’re now thinking firsthand, “Oh when we went to Alex II, these students are already making their own videos,'” she said. “‘These students are already engaging in this activity. How do I think about engaging all learners? And what my professors are telling me, what does that mean in practice?'”
Kendall Willis, a junior at Mercer University working toward becoming an elementary school teacher, says the day was helpful for her to see other levels like high school.
“Being able to see where kids will end up eventually and the community,” she said. “Even coming to see the different charter schools and seeing the different types of schools. I thought that was really great.”
Jarred Moore, an assistant principal at Northeast High School, thinks the “Bears in Bibb” day was a great opportunity for students to see what’s happening in schools.
“I think this experience has been very valuable for the Mercer candidates,” he said. “Because it allows them to see their learning in practice.”
Dr. Sartin hopes students seeing a school district in their backyard will help them decide to stay in Macon for their teaching careers.
“If we can transform our local community, if we can educate students that can give back to the local community, that not only benefits Bibb County,” she said. “That also benefits Mercer University.”
Willis says she appreciated seeing more of the community and is now considering a career in the Bibb County School District.
“Especially seeing a lot more of the elementary schools and seeing how passionate a lot of the teachers were who were working there,” she said. “And the students… just seeing them walk around and how much fun they were having in school.”
Mercer University and the Bibb County School District have a long standing relationship. They hope to continue days like “Bears in Bibb” in the future.