Teaching with insight: MacDill's immersion tour enhances support for military children

  • Published
  • By SrA Lauren Cobin
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing
Ahead of the start of the 2023-2024 school year, the 6th Air Refueling Wing hosted an immersion tour for teachers assigned to the base’s General Clarence Tinker K-8 School.

The tour aimed to provide Tinker’s teachers with a firsthand understanding of the challenges military children face, and enable them create a more supportive environment for these unique students.

The tour began with an in-depth mission brief, outlining the realities of military life – from frequent relocations to extended deployments with testimonies from U.S. Air Force Col. Adam Bingham, 6th Air Refueling Wing commander, military children and parents themself. This set the stage for educators to comprehend the complex experiences of military families.

A highlight of the tour was the time spent at a KC-135 Stratotanker, where educators met pilots and boom operators who work 24/7 to support the Air Force mission. This hands-on experience allowed teachers to connect theoretical concepts to real-world applications, enhancing their ability to engage students.

Kerry Shashack, an assistant principal at Tinker, expressed her gratitude, "This tour has given me a new appreciation for the resiliency these children exhibit!"

The teacher immersion tour emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive classroom environment that acknowledges the unique needs of military children. By delving into their world, educators are better equipped to provide the necessary support and nurture their students' well-being.

A military parent, Airman 1st Class Sterling Sutton, 6th Air Refueling Wing public affairs apprentice, shared her thoughts on the tour, "It's great to see educators making an effort to understand our children's lives. This tour will undoubtedly lead to better support for our kids' education."

With the anticipation of the 2023-2024upcoming school year, MacDill’s Tinker Teacher immersion not only ignited excitement among educators, but also equipped them with invaluable insights fostering a renewed commitment to creating a nurturing environment for military children.