At 17 years old, Seth Steeves gets a first-hand taste of what it would be like to teach elementary students.
Steeves - one of 16 students from Fulton High School's Hi-Step program - teaches Becky Barton's fourth-graders at McIntire Elementary School for an hour once a month. During that hour, he works with fellow senior, Jessica Klutts, sharing an important lesson with the students. Though Hi-Step students have preset topics to impart on their young pupils, prior to class time, they still have to brainstorm for lesson plan ideas that support those topics. Some of the subjects include respect, family and safety.
"It's fun being able to go and teach the kids," Steeves said.
He explained that the age he teaches is a good one, since fourth-graders are more willing to listen than some of the younger elementary students. However, he added, they can still be disruptive at times. The time he's spent at the schools has made him mindful of what his own teachers have to deal with daily, he said.
"I think that (the high-schoolers) get to see what it's like for a teacher every day for a few minutes," Barton said, adding that the experience also helps the Hi-Step students learn a sense of responsibility.
Barton said Steeves has been a male role model to some of her students who appreciate his laid back, playful attitude.
"The fourth-graders look up to the high school kids, and they enjoy when they come," she said.
Steeves was accepted into Hi-Step his sophomore year after receiving a teacher recommendation, filling out the required papers and being approved. He said teaching started out as merely a side project, but now he's considering it more seriously as a possible career. What he'd primarily like to become, however, is an industrial engineer.
"But teaching's always a thought in the back of my mind," Steeves noted.
The senior is leaning toward going into the engineering program at the University of Missouri-Columbia after graduation.
"I like inventing things and making tools more suitable for projects," Steeves said. "I'm all for trying to find the easiest way to do something."
Steeves not only teaches younger students in the classroom but on the court, too. He volunteers at St. Peter Catholic School helping seventh- and eighth-graders with their basketball skills.
Besides school and teaching, Steeves keeps busy playing disc golf, hanging out with friends and tutoring. He also works part-time as a tour guide at the National Churchill Museum.