ASCC B.Ed. Candidate Promotes Ocean Awareness
April 10, 2015
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
Early this month, American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Teacher Education Department (TED) student Iliasa Sialo’i, 23, became the first of five Bachelors in Education (B.Ed.) candidates for spring 2015 to complete her teaching practicum at Pava’ia’i Elementary School. Miss Sialo’i’ currently serves as a full time teacher at Pava’ia’i while simultaneously working towards her B.Ed. with the ASCC-TED. On Thursday, April 2nd Miss Sialo’i organized the “Culmination” portion of the practicum, in which her fifth grade students showcased a “thematic unit” on the topic of ocean awareness. Pava’ia’i Principal Mrs. Laborday Atanoa and members of her staff, ASCC-TED faculty, and the parents of Miss Sialo’i’s students all joined in on the fun and informative Culmination event.
The hour long presentation consisted of performances and inter-active presentations in which the fifth graders showcased their knowledge of the wide variety of sea creatures as well as the role a healthy marine environment plays in the well-being of humanity. Songs, dances, visual art, and no small amount of research on the students’ part were all woven into a fast-moving session that evidenced the fifth graders’ genuine engagement with the subject matter. Samoan traditions also entered the mix when a group of boy students acted out the “Legend of the Isumu and Fe’e,” followed by the girls performing a siva Samoa also on the theme of the fe’e (octopus). Other students’ presentations took on a more serious tone as they cautioned against the dangers of overfishing and damage to the coral reef ecosystem. Following the presentations, the Culmination concluded with words of appreciation from Mrs. Atanoa and Dr. Larry Purcell representing the TED.
“My unit theme was ‘Under the Sea,’ and its purpose was to help students understand how natural systems have many components that interact,” explained Miss Sialo’i, who teaches a wide variety of subjects at Pava’ia’i including Literacy, Samoan Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Health. “I was happy I was able to teach my thematic unit inside my own classroom,” she reflected. “I’ve written many thematic units as part of my TED coursework, but this was my first time actually implementing one. I enjoyed decorating my classroom and teaching my students about life ‘Under the Sea’ while at the same time relating the theme to all the standards and benchmarks of all content areas. I believe my students learned a lot through the assignments and projects they completed for every lesson.”
Following her graduation at the end of this semester, Miss Sialo’i plans to leave for Army Reserves basic training through mid-summer, and then return to serve with the local Reserves while also continuing to teach. In addition, she plans to aim for an even higher degree in her chosen profession. “I am still undecided about which University I will apply for, but I do plan to earn my Master’s Degree in Education online while teaching at Pava’ia’i,” she said.
A Malaeimi resident, Miss Sialo’i’ attended Manumalo Baptist Academy, Manulele Tausala Junior High, and Tafuna High School before earning her Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Education from ASCC in 2012 and then continuing on in the B.Ed. program. “I chose to become a teacher because I enjoy being around children and sharing my knowledge with them,” she said. “I also enjoy helping others achieve their goals.”
For more information on the ASCC-TED Bachelors in Education program, visit the ASCC web page at: www.amsamoa.edu.