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Teaching the Next Generation: Child Development with Jill Fuller

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Child Development’s classroom entrance

Child Development is a class offered at Camas High School (CHS) that allows students to get a headstart on both their childcare and college careers. Child Development offers a hands-on approach to caring for preschool children and lasts the entire school year.

Child Development allows students to become STAR-certified, which means that they are trained in the basics of child care. This also gives students an opportunity to more easily get jobs at nurseries or daycares. There is also college credit available.

“You can get up to 12 Clark [College] credits, which is one whole term of college for free,” Child Development teacher Jill Fuller said. “It’s a great opportunity to get college credit, state certification and to have fun.”

Fuller has studied child care and development for decades. She got her degree in early childhood education, human development and family studies from Oregon State University. She started teaching child development in 1997 at Hillsboro High School before teaching at CHS.

“This is my ninth year here. I love working with high schoolers and preschoolers,” Fuller said.

Along with an experienced teacher, Child Development also offers labs to interact with preschool children from Lacamas Heights.

“Two days a week we come in and it’s our lab day,” Fuller said. “It’s a child development lab. [High schoolers] have jobs and a name badge they put on. They sign in and run a station.”

“The class is very fun and engaging,” CHS sophomore Jadyn Tingley said. “I enjoy observing and hanging out with the kids because they’re all so different.”

Child Development’s playground at CHS

“We got to work with the preschoolers and learn the laws of childcare facilities,” CHS junior Megan Wright said. “I really liked it. It was really fun.”

Child Development’s lab days allow high school students to teach preschoolers a variety of subjects from math to English to sharing in the playground. The high schoolers are able to learn how to care for preschoolers and the preschoolers get to begin learning about a diverse range of school subjects.

Some students shared that taking the class even opened up career interests.

“Taking that class really helped me realize that I like stuff involving childcare,” Wright said.

“When I grow up I want to be a child therapist and I think this is a great first step,” Tingley said. “You learn a lot without even realizing it.” 

Child Development welcomes high school students at any grade level to participate in learning from and teaching preschool students.

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Troy Siemers, Staff Writer

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