For teachers, the key to engaging the minds of children is to expand on the information already included in the required textbooks. With that in mind middle-school teacher Liz Bodle seeks new ideas to bring to her students.
Each term, Bodle and her husband (also a teacher) scan UC Berkeley Extension’s catalog to find courses that will give them extra nuggets of information to bestow upon their classes.
“You need to know the latest research and findings in ancient history to keep the kids in the know—textbooks cannot stay current,” Bodle says. “But if you only read the sixth-grade book, they can see right through that. It’s getting that extra piece for the kids, to go a little bit higher.”
To keep her edge, Bodle enrolls in Humanities courses, enjoying the evening and weekend classes that fit her tight schedule. And being in a classroom with adults also has its perks. “You could just read the book, but then you don’t have the ability to sit with someone and discuss it,” she says. “It’s always fun to keep learning. With education changing so much, the demands of what you need to know have risen. Teachers need to stay current.”