Consumer sciences educator in running for top award

Academics: Teacher focuses on early childhood education in Bonney Lake High School classroom

of the HeraldDecember 4, 2013 

Tricia Littlefield, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Bonney Lake High School, is considered a rock star in her field.

Littlefield will attend CareerTech VISION on Wednesday in Las Vegas, where she will be among five finalists for the Teacher of the Year award, presented by the Association of Career and Technical Education.

“I do feel honored,” Littlefield said. “In a profession where we don’t always get recognized, I am very grateful.”

Littlefield received the ACTE Teacher of the Year Award from Region V earlier this year.

For the past nine years as a family and consumer sciences teacher at Bonney Lake High, Littlefield has focused on early childhood education for teenagers.

“I teach mostly child development,” Littlefield said. “I work with teen parents, help them with parent skills and connect them with the on-site childcare center.”

Teen parents who are enrolled in Littlefield’s classes eventually can be state certified to work in a childcare center.

“After being certified, they can take practicum classes in the childcare center,” Littlefield said.

Practicum classes serve as work-site learning at the daycare center on the high school campus. The practicum is three semesters, and each focuses on a different age group: infant, toddler or preschools.

“I usually certify 50 to 60 students a year,” Littlefield said. “There are usually 30 students a semester in the childcare class.”

Children at the daycare center often are children of teachers in the school district or are from the community, Littlefield said.

Littlefield utilizes hands-on activities and technology to enhance student learning.

“I try to build relationships with each student, understand how they learn and build instruction around that,” she said. “I pay individual attention to students, making sure that all students develop and move forward.”

Littlefield said her class benefits from Google Chrome Books, which help students compose documents like PowerPoint presentations. Littlefield can edit the materials in real time.

Littlefield also has been instrumental statewide as a member of the WA-ACTE executive committee, for which she has helped to align family and consumer science curriculum across schools, according to the Sumner School District.

Littlefield has advised the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America team at Bonney Lake High for 13 years. Her sophomore and junior teams recently won first-place medals at the FCCLA national competition.

Littlefield said she enjoys making an impact on students.

“I get excited about them wanting to start their lives on their own as adults,” she said. “I also really enjoy being an FCCLA adviser. It’s nice to see the pride they get from all the work they do.”

Students learn everything from public speaking to time management.

Littlefield will attend CareerTech VISION 2013 through Saturday. She also will learn about the innovations in career and technical education, and the family and consumer sciences.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at andrew.fickes@puyallupherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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