Members of Hubbard High School’s art club and Future Educators of America eagerly returned to the Fairhaven School in Niles for their annual Hubbard Art Day event, which was postponed last school year due to COVID.
“As we walked in the doors to Fairhaven for the first time since before the pandemic all I could think to say was, "We are back!”,” said art teacher Josh MacMillan. “This was a new experience where we traveled from classroom to classroom rather than having the students all come to one central location so our students really got to feel what it was like to be a classroom teacher.”
It’s been eight years since the first group of Hubbard art students set foot inside of Fairhaven School. At that time, students were looking for a way to get outside of the walls of the classroom and volunteer their time. That school year, they ended up facilitating two Hubbard Art Day events for the students of the preschool and workshop programs. Their efforts have blossomed into a nearly-decade old tradition.
“I am incredibly grateful to Sandy Kernan and her staff for opening up the doors for us to come in and give our students the two most inspiring and impactful days of their school year. It is a privilege to make these trips and I am eternally thankful for everyone who works with us to make this day happen for the next generation of teachers who want to make a difference,” said MacMillan.
"Going to Fairhaven has changed my perspective on education, teaching, special education, and life,” said Adrienne Elliot. “Some kids I saw at the event would not be able to learn efficiently in a traditional environment. Watching the teachers go beyond their basic needs is really heart warming and makes me emotional. I truly wish everyone had the chance to witness with their own eyes the students there. I come from a background of helping others but this truly has changed my life. This has made me reconsider my major and start to think maybe this is my calling.”
The administration at Hubbard Schools has been incredibly supportive of this endeavor, which allows Hubbard students to become teachers for a day. Over the past couple of years, the district has had several students pursue educational careers after discovering their passion during these trips to Fairhaven. This year, 15 students traveled to Niles and ran five different activities. For some students, this was their first trip with the club. Others have participated for several years.
“Going to Fairhaven these few years has definitely been life changing. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was three, but my exact degree was always a question. Fairhaven has opened my eyes to see what I would like to do for my job,” said student Brianna Scarmack who also serves as president of The Future Educators of America. “I vividly remember leaving Fairhaven for the first time thinking how much I loved working with the students. Every year I have gone back, but nothing compared to this year. Our set up was different from normal, but it allowed me to truly get the classroom aspect. Thanks to Fairhaven I know I have experienced my passion for teaching kids!”