Senior Kirk Butler helped second grade students at Matthews Elementary learn about inputs and outputs during their math lesson. He also passed out English worksheets and read the announcements to the students.
And who could forget the "love letter" Butler received from a student that read, "You're cute," along with a bookmark that had a heart stamped on it.
"That's cool," Butler smiled. "I don't mind."
Love notes aside, Butler and his peers, Karl Erlenbusch and Bobbie King, admitted they've come to respect their teachers a lot more after their morning teacher shadow session. Erlenbusch, who helped in the art class with weaving and working with clay, said he admires how teachers can control the classroom.
"It's hard when you've got 80 students talking to you, each with a different story," Butler agreed. "But it's great how they (teachers) can handle all the problems at once."
King has had a little more experience than Erlenbusch and Butler. She volunteers in the third grade at Matthews as a cadet teacher every day from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. On Thursday, King was helping with the second grade.
Both Erlenbusch and Butler said they weren't sure if they wanted to be a teacher -- Erlenbusch wants to be a photojournalist and Butler wants to study pre-med in college -- but they're not ruling out the option.
Over at the Kindergarten Center, Celeste Colley was playing Chutes and Ladders with a group of students in Julie Hodges' class.
"I really thought I wouldn't like to be a teacher, but now I know it's something I could see myself doing," Colley said. "I really didn't expect it to be so calm and in control. It takes a lot of patience."
Shadow teaching gives students an idea of what to expect, and it can help them decide if this is something they want to do, said Julie Hodges, classroom teacher of 13 years.
Teaching is a little more demanding than people may think, Hodges noted. She usually advises student teachers, cadet teachers and on Thursday, her shadow teachers, not to let the children "pull the wool over their eyes" because the children will definitely test them, Hodges said.
"You get to see what teachers do in a classroom. It's a good learning experience," said FTA president Laura Johnson, who shadowed Terry Moreland's kindergarten class.
After a four- or five-year absence from Sikeston's American Education Week, Sharon Shelton, president of Sikeston Community Teachers Association, thought it would be a good idea to bring the teacher shadowing back this year because it's such a great experience for the students.
In honor of American Education Week, the FTA students also made posters and cupcakes for their teachers. They're also encouraged to give a hug to all of their teachers because "one size fits all," Butler reminded.
In addition to teacher shadowing, other school buildings recognized American Education Week by giving essay contests, and some elementary parents and community leaders came into the classrooms and read to the students.
Junior high students made a public service announcement at the radio station. Students in the lower grades made pictures and hung the artwork in businesses, and several marquis signs in town have messages promoting education.
Prize drawings also were held every day in all the different buildings for teachers and the staff with Pam Lowe and Mattie Trum, SCTA public relations co-persons, in charge of promoting the week.
Shelton said it's important to provide a chance to recognize teachers and also appreciate and recognize the support staff during American Education Week. This year's theme is "Great Public Schools for Every Child: America's Promise."
"Teachers feel really good during this week, and they feel good about what they're doing," Shelton noted. "It's a real positive for them, and they think, 'This is why I'm doing this.'"