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Teach, Learn, Inspire: A Takeaway from Duke Splash

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Duke chapter.

            Duke Splash is an event held every semester on a Saturday where Duke undergraduate and graduate students teach their passions to middle and high schoolers from the Durham area and beyond. Teachers can teach between one and four classes and are eligible to be reimbursed for supplies for their classes. It is truly an incredible opportunity to dip your toes in the field of education.

            This semester was my fourth time teaching for Duke Splash, but, this time around, I was teaching a class on something I am incredibly passionate about: language and how we learn. As soon as I started teaching, I noticed an immediate difference in both my students and myself. Before, when I had taught American Sign Language, I would just go through the motions. Sure, it was fun, but I didn’t realize how much fun I could have teaching until this year’s Splash.

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            Although my class was small, the students had such a genuine interest in the topic and came prepared with questions for me; there was never a quiet moment in my class. Although I had prepared a presentation, I ended up going off on a tangent about linguistic rights and the importance of promoting multilingualism in the United States. When I went off on that tangent, my students perked up and were so much more invested than when I had basically been reading through a PowerPoint.

            I greatly look forward to teaching about my passions at future Splashes and inspiring my students to pursue their own passions, be it linguistics, neuroscience, or something completely different. Although I will still prepare a presentation or lesson plan in advance, I won’t be afraid to go off course because the students are there to learn from passionate teachers; it would be a disservice to the students to hold back.

If you’re interested in learning more about Splash, visit dukesplash.learningu.org.

All photos courtesy of Duke Splash