Career Technical Education instructor Richard Hawkins’ robotics and automation class was recently instructed by their fellow students – Christopher Alonso, Osvoldo Alvarado, Denny Romero, Krystopher Jaurez and Alexis Corona – to calibrate an ABB industrial robot.
While Alonso performed the calibration of the robot, Alvarado relayed the instructions in Spanish to their peers. Hawkins is an avid believer of students teaching in his classroom, saying, “I [allow students to teach] fairly often because if you know something well enough to teach it, then you have learned that thing very well.” Hawkins believes that students teaching deepens their understanding of the content being covered in the class.
Hawkins also believes this practice promotes student engagement in the classroom,
stating that his students “seemed to be more attentive with student lead training.” Student teaching also makes students feel like the work they are doing is more achievable. Hawkins explains, “Student led instruction makes things more reachable, it’s not just something I can do because I’ve been at this for 20 years, these guys picked it up a few days ago.”