Aspiring Teacher, Leadership Grad Pursues Teaching Dream

Aspiring Teacher, Leadership Grad Pursues Teaching Dream
Shawnee Mission School District

Graciela Albarran-Bautista, a  senior at SM South and Class of 2021 Leadership Shawnee Mission (LSM) graduate, wants to be an English Language Learner elementary teacher.

This summer, she dedicated time to working toward her dream.

As a member of LSM ‘21 she was paired with mentor,  Pam Lewis, SMSD Elementary HR director, and shared her resume and future goals.

“I have been so impressed with Graciela’s insightful questions regarding instruction and support for ELL learners, response to intervention, and how we assess students’ mastery of skills,” Lewis noted. “Her passion and interest in curriculum and instruction are a reflection of her drive to become a teacher and the quality of our high school teacher education classes.”

Albarran-Bautista is building her resume as she works as a teacher’s assistant in the Shawnee Mission School District’s Summer Enrichment program. She provided educational support in Science Explorers, to students in kindergarten through second grade. Kellie Atkinson, who teaches at Santa Fe Trail during the school year, was the lead teacher.

During this one week-long class, students focused on engineering projects.

The students used the engineering process with steps that included Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Test, Improve, and Present to design and build a variety of projects.

“Is it okay if your design doesn’t work?” asked Atkinson. “Yes, that is how many engineers and scientists learn.”

During the week Albarran-Bautista helped students build birdhouses, bridges, cars, towers, and boats all while using simple machines and the different steps of the engineering process.

“I really love interacting and building relationships with the students,” Albarran-Bautista shared. “This is the age group that I hope to teach one day.”

During the activity on tower-building she helped provide materials and support to the students who were tasked to build the tallest and/or strongest newspaper tower using only tape and newspaper.

“Graciela is such a hard-worker and is always interacting with the students, handing out materials, or cleaning up, she never stops,” Atkinson said.

As the group moved on to the next activity of building a car, Albarran-Bautista read a book to the students to spark ideas for their original car designs.

“It’s a gift to be able to host Summer Enrichment this year and to have the opportunity to be with kids in person,” Atkinson shared. “It’s a wonderful experience for the students and our teaching assistants.”

Leadership Shawnee Mission is a prestigious invitation-only summer leadership development program for incoming Shawnee Mission juniors and seniors. Find out more about the Foundation here.