main content starts here

BCHS students gain experience with Play Days

Filed in Archive, BCHS, Student Spotlight by on June 6, 2019

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bethlehem Central High School students studying Early Childhood Education received some real world experience this past month when they took part in a half-day preschool-like program hosted at the high school.

The program, also known as Play Days, is hosted by BCHS students and has been a long running project in the Early Childhood Education course at BC. Faculty and staff from the high school are invited to sign-up their children who are between the ages of 3-5. The children then spend a half day with the BCHS students who act as preschool teachers.

FACs Teacher Maria Hayes says the students spend the beginning of the semester observing Eagle Elementary School Teachers and studying various types of preschools options, along with learning about the different aspects and qualities of Early Childhood Education to help prepare them for the work that goes into teaching during the Play Days.

The students, mainly juniors and seniors, spend the entire semester of the course working towards these Play Days.

“The students all work really hard to get to this point,” said Hayes. “They select each theme for the days, they write out lesson plans, design art activities, and decorate the classroom. It’s an exciting moment for them.”

During the Play Days, which ran from May 17-23, the students acted as teachers and followed a set schedule with their “students.” The schedule included free-play, circle time, music and movement, arts and crafts, dramatic play, snack and story time.

Hayes believes the Play Days give high school students a chance to gain authentic teaching experience.

“It’s an authentic, hands-on experience that comes with everything including clean up!,” said Hayes. “A lot of them are thinking about going into education and this gives them a great stepping stone into what they will do at college.”

Many of the students participating will also receive college credit for this course through the district’s partnership with SUNY Cobleskill.