A group of West High School students who hope to become teachers recently got their first opportunity. The aspiring teachers visited West View Elementary Community School where they taught the younger students some fun and easy tips for remembering the rules of the road when they’re walking or biking.
Before teaching the classes at West View, the West High students met with City of Knoxville Traffic Engineering to learn more about our city roads and what the city has done to improve pedestrian safety. Led by their teacher, Laura Davis, the students then spent weeks preparing lesson plans, developing materials and practicing their presentations.
“Being in the classroom with these students, teaching them the lessons we put together, really gave us the opportunity to see what it’s like to be a teacher,” said West High School student Baylee Sparks. “It was exciting to work with these students and to see them practicing the lessons we taught them in the classroom.”
Susan Martin, West View’s Community School resource coordinator said the end goal, of course, is to keep our children as safe as possible and then provide them the skills they need to make smart decisions on their own.
West View has a very active Walking School Bus program, an initiative of the Knoxville-Knox County Safe Routes to School Partnership that offers students a chaperoned walk to their home or pickup point, with a teacher or volunteer leading the way. Outside of school hours, many of the elementary students are out walking and riding their bikes around the neighborhood, explained Martin. To help students remember the safety lessons they learn Friday, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital will provide all students with plastic bracelets with the words “Look left” and a paw print, representing West View’s mascot, the Wildcats.
Walking is one of the best things we can do to stay healthy, but only if we put safety first. Unfortunately, pedestrian-vehicle injuries are the fifth leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 19, according to SafeKids.org. Safety programs like this one, will hopefully help prevent these avoidable accidents.