CHADRON — Brennan Jackson of Valentine, Nebraska, was named Project Strive student of the month for January. He is pursuing a double major in K-8 Elementary Education and K-6 Physical Education.
Jackson, an Eagle Scout, comes from a family of teachers. His father was a high school math teacher for 33 years and Jackson’s sister, Savannah, is a former CSC student who teaches kindergarten at Chadron.
In addition to college classes, Jackson enjoys tutoring the after-school program for K-2 students.
“The children are bursting with energy all the time. We teach them activities and life lessons; things they can always use and help them with their homework,” Jackson said. “I do an activity where we put hoops on the gym floor and they have to jump through the hoops and then play rock, paper and scissors. They learn true sportsmanship.
He learned the power of using interactive objects to teach math from former CSC professor Dr. Beth Wentworth.
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“There are a few kids who are more visual learners, so I’ll use a whiteboard or sometimes I’ll use crayons or counter tokens as manipulatives. It really helps them because when they have problems with the diagrams, it’s easier than explaining them. You use the manipulatives so they can see it and understand it better,” Jackson said.
Jackson praises his academic advisor, Dr. Dawn Brammer, for her helpfulness.
Brammer said Jackson is an excellent student with a positive attitude.
“He is always ready for class and goes above and beyond the course requirements. He is active in after-school programs and will make a great teacher,” Brammer said.
Education Club is another aspect of his CSC experience that adds to Jackson’s preparation and professional development as a pre-service teacher.
“In Education Club, you meet lots of people who are going into the same profession as you, and you can talk about your future goals and plan different activities around education,” Jackson said.
He is eager to begin his teaching career and applied for a substitute teacher’s license after completing a human relations course co-sponsored by ESU 13 and CSC.
“I am just waiting for the Ministry of Education to approve it, so that I can enter the schools and gain more experience before I finish university and teach in my own class,” said said Jackson.
He plans to teach for a few years and then pursue a master’s degree at CSC.
“My family used to come to State Park and camp for a few weekends. We hiked a lot and had fun. I really like this field, so I would love to get a job here,” Jackson said.
The Project Strive/TRiO program at Chadron State College, located on the lower level of King Library, is an academic enrichment program committed to helping students succeed. Project Strive also focuses on career exploration, cultural and social enrichment, and self-awareness. To be eligible for the program, a student must be one of the following: A first-generation college student with neither parent having a four-year degree, meets low-income status under U.S. Department of Health criteria, and social services or has a documented disability.