In a reversal of roles Thursday, Johnson High School students became teachers, leading educational lessons on CPR, Automated External Defibrillators and EpiPens.
Their classes were groups of teachers at the high school during a training session that was done during each teacher’s planning periods.
Students in Allied Health and Emergency Medical Responder classes at Johnson were given the opportunity to educate and train their teachers. Some of the students were a little anxious about the role reversal at the beginning.
“A lot of people were nervous and saying, ‘I’m so nervous to teach them, they’re teachers,’” said Melissa Perez, a senior. “I was like, ‘What teachers? I see students.’ I can do this. Just look at them as students.
“I really enjoyed being on the other side because usually teachers are the ones teaching and for once, I got to be the teacher and they got to be students,” she added. “It just feels really cool to know something teachers don’t.”
Casey Fleury, a health science teacher at Johnson, said the students prepared for the day of training for about two weeks. They divided the groups of teachers into three groups and rotated them between CPR, AED and EpiPen training so that all teachers had the opportunity to learn and practice each during the period. Teachers asked questions and got answers back from the students.
“All the kids are saying the want to do it again,” Fleury said.
Rebecca Maddox, who also teaches health, said she was proud of the students.
“The students just returned to what we’ve taught them and they just turned and validated what we taught them,” she said. “It was very important that they had actually learned and were able to carry that message on.”
Joshua Lopez, a junior, said he was a little worried since some of the teachers he was training were also teachers he had in his classes.
“I was kind of nervous, but it felt great to be able to teach teachers a valuable thing that they will be able to save another person’s life,” he said. “That makes me feel good.”
Victoria Ramos, also a junior, called the opportunity to teach her teachers a “cool experience.”
“This was a great opportunity for us to know more about AEDs, EpiPens and CPR and also getting to help teachers know,” she said. “The more they know, the safer the students are around the school. I really felt like they were just as curious as anybody would be.”
Sherry Wooten, an English teacher, said she was impressed with the students.
“It was surprising how mature they are and knowledgeable and confident,” she said. “We get unnerved sometimes speaking in front of our colleagues and they did a better job than we do. They seemed to know what they’re doing.”
Wooten said she also learned some new things during the training.
“I had been trained in CRP and AEDs before, but things change. With the EpiPens, the design has changed so much from the first time we did it. With CPR it has changed where you don’t do mouth-to-mouth anymore, You just do the compressions. The AEDs are wonderful to have around, a new component that we have to enhance our safety for the students in the school.”
Cathryn Sawyer, an assistant principal at Johnson, was pleased.
“I like that the teachers got to see the students teaching and I liked it was in the hallway so as other students were walking in the hallways they could see their teachers were willing to learn,” she said. “Teachers are lifelong learners.”