For education major and senior Sarah Baker, Hardin-Simmons University has become the top destination for gaining an insight on her potential career as a teacher. Through summer camp opportunities provided by HSU, such as Threshold, Baker has had first hand opportunities to work with a variety of students.
"Through Threshold I have been able to interact and learn so much about gifted and talented students. This camp has given me so much experience and has really help prepare me for my future career as a teacher," Baker said.
Undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni of the education department at Hardin-Simmons work with gifted and talented students at the Threshold summer program on July 10-14 and July 17-21.
For 37 years, undergraduate students interested in education, especially gifted programs, have gained new perspectives through their observations at Threshold.
"Through this camp I have seen just how truly special and intelligent these students are. I have gained so much respect and interest for students that are in gifted and talented programs such as this one," Baker said.
Students pursuing a Master of Education in Gifted and Talented Education, many of whom already serve as full-time teachers in Texas, are instrumental in teaching the program. They prepare lessons and activities for the children, along with presenting a lecture series for parents of gifted children. The students are able to interact and work with a diverse, unique group of gifted students.
"At Threshold we see so many different students who all have intelligence and creative thinking in common. It has given me great practice for my teaching job to be able to work with these kinds of students," said Colleen Patton, a HSU graduate student working on her degree in gifted and talented education.
Threshold offers experience that alumni of the gifted and talented program at Hardin-Simmons can use at their current teaching careers. Jennifer Crisp, an alumna of HSU, uses her time at the camp as a place to experiment with potential teaching techniques and curriculum.
"Threshold is more of a laid back environment, so I am able to get fun and creative with my teachings skills to see what works best for these students. If I have any new ideas and teaching methods that I want to try out, I do it here because it is great practice," Crisp said.