During Spring Immersives, a week where students take a course on a topic not traditionally explored in the curriculum, I had the privilege of leading a group of 28 students in a babysitting certification course. Through hands-on activities, students learned how to provide care for children and keep them safe, first aid and CPR, emergency response, how to choose age-appropriate activities, and the basics of starting and managing a babysitting business. Students also received a certification for CPR and first aid training through the Red Cross. The culminating activity was a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo where they planned and lead an outing for (hypothetical) children. Each student left the class with strong safety skills, CPR/ First aid training and certification, a business plan, and a notebook full of ideas and recipes for being a successful babysitter.
Immersive is an amazing opportunity for students to dive deep in a topic through experiential learning activities. They also get to work in mixed grade-level groups and many students leave the course with new friends, perspectives, and connections. A highlight of the experience for me was seeing the students bring their own lived experienced into discussions around child development, age-appropriate activities, and handling challenging behavior in young children.