Students in the Laramie High School Intro to Psychology class have had the opportunity to teach their class material about mental disorders.

The project, called “Teacher for the Day,” was assigned by student teacher Morgan Paraska.

Each class has 6-8 groups, each consisting of 2-4 people. The groups were each assigned a chunk of the textbook based on a part of the current mental disorders unit. Each group has to create a presentation, quiz, activity, and use an outside resource. The quizzes will then be compiled into a test for all the students to take. The classes began presenting April 9 and will continue until the following week. The class is during the 4th and 5th periods of the LHS bell schedule.

The Mental Disorders Unit is divided into many different parts.

“What is a disorder, different types of disorders, how we go about treating mental disorders, how we go about diagnosing mental disorders,…how do we empathize and talk to people kindly, how do we break down stigma, and what’s the history,” Paraska said.

The first group that presented consisted of students Jen Aadland, Callie Lopez, Allie Watkins, and Jameson McDaniel. This group taught the class about OCD and PTSD. “they [OCD patients] have to have everything neat…It can be with organization or just germs,” Aadland said. “PTSD is when a traumatic event has happened to you and sometimes have flashbacks,” Aadland said.

Paraska is currently undergoing her teaching residency program by teaching with LHS psychology teacher Cory Scimeca. She has and will continue teaching with Scimeca for the entire 2nd semester. In the previous units, she did not have group work like this unit. Paraska graduated from Douglas High School and is currently a senior at UW.

Paraska has done other activities in her class like “Zombie Apocalypse” and “Scavenger Hunt.” Zombie Apocalypse is a game that teaches the class about motivation. “[Zombie Apocalypse is about] motivation when we talk about different psychological approaches to survival,” Paraska said.

Sophomore Garrett Dodd believed that having a presentation and a quiz right after allowed him to learn better. “I think we learned it [mental disorders] better…because we have to actually take a quiz right after the presentation,” Dodd said. The quizzes are also closed note which means the students have to pay more attention.