Teaching Life Skills through Humanities Curricula
Sixth-grade humanities students in Jasmine Jefferson’s classroom can expect not only to be intellectually challenged by the curricula, but also enjoy a variety of teaching and learning styles.
“My style of teaching is a combination of: experiential learning, online learning, differentiated learning, blended learning, game-based learning, and student-centered learning,” Jefferson says, who has 26 years of experience teaching—six of those years at Lab.
Before coming to Lab, Jefferson taught at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for 21 years. “My work as a teacher has evolved in multiple ways,” Jefferson says. “My methods and practices of teaching are more informed by my experiences and continuous professional development, as well as my didactical approach which focuses on the process of motivating my students in the learning process.”
Jefferson used to teach primary school students, including kindergarteners, and eventually evolved to teaching middle school students. In addition to being a Grade 6 humanities teacher, Jefferson is also a sixth-grade advisor and Middle School Black Student Association (BSA) co-sponsor. “Although the age level of my students has changed…my philosophy has not,” Jeffersons says. “I still firmly believe that all students can learn. It is the responsibility of the teacher to meet students where they are and assist them in the progression of their educational journey.”
Jefferson’s graduate educational background consisted of “social science and urban education with a concentration in the study of the societies, and the relationships among the individuals within the societies.”
Jefferson also incorporates life skills into lessons so students may apply them to the real world. “These skills support learning centered around being creative and critical thinkers, problem-solvers, assertive and equanimous learners, empathetic and self-aware individuals, and interpersonal communication,” explains Jefferson, who decided to pursue education in undergraduate school while taking elective courses.
This school year, “students will work on researching and studying the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia and develop a student-directed Museum Fair open to students, teachers, faculty, and family members,” Jefferson says.
- Teaching at Lab