Learning in Action
Elementary education major’s real-world experience prepares her for teaching
Savhanna Korver believes that teaching is one of the most important jobs a person can do. Teachers, good and bad, have a lasting effect on their students, and Korver wants to have a positive effect on the lives of the children she teaches in the future.
“It might not be the most monetarily rewarding, but I can’t think of a career that would fill your heart more than helping a student learn how to read, or making sure that they are going home to a safe home at night,” she said. “You have the ability to make your students feel that they are important, and I can’t think of one thing that’s more important than instilling confidence in a first-grader.”
Korver, 22, from Potter Valley, California, is a senior majoring in elementary education in the University of Idaho College of Education. She loves the hands-on nature of the university’s curriculum, which involves working in classrooms at local elementary schools
“It’s really exciting that, especially this year, I’m in a classroom once a week for at least three hours, if not more than that,” she said. “Even when we are in class (at the university), it’s a lot of peer-teaching. So I’ll teach a lesson to my peers as if they were third-graders, for example.”
Her experience has been shaped not just by teaching and learning in the classroom, but also by the research she conducted over the course of her junior year with Vanessa Anthony-Stevens, an assistant professor of social and cultural studies. The focus of their research was diversity in the classroom.
Korver gained knowledge by transcribing interviews conducted by Anthony-Stevens, and by accompanying her on field trips that broadened her understanding of how a community can shape a classroom’s diversity. An experience that stood out to Korver was a visit to the Nez Perce tribe’s reservation in Lapwai, Idaho.
There, she spent time observing teachers in their classrooms, visited the local fish hatchery and learned how the school incorporated cultural diversity. She felt a strong sense of community in Lapwai, and saw that community is a part of implementing cultural diversity.
Working with Anthony-Stevens has been inspiring for Korver.
“It was really cool to not only experience, but also listen to Vanessa’s point of view during the whole thing,” she said. “She is very experienced in the area and I’m not. She did a lot of teaching abroad. She’s taught in Mexico and other places, and I plan on teaching abroad when I’m done with my student teaching.”
Ultimately, what will be a rewarding career for Korver and others like her will be a benefit to future generations.
“Since we live in a country that has such an emphasis on education, we should have good educators,” she said.
WRITER: Madison Billingsley, a senior from Covington, Washington, is majoring in creative writing.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Madelen Johansson is an international student from Tibro, Sweden, and is majoring in interior design.