When you’re a kid, understanding the size and scale of the universe can be a challenge. The concept of space, let alone time zones and continents can be enough to make your head spin as if its adrift in its own interstellar orbit.
Visualization and role play are key in engraining belief in a lesson plan, and that’s exactly what two Endeavor flight attendants did recently during a visit to Ms. Andrea Segedi’s second grade class at Hedke Elementary School in Trenton, Michigan.
The subject was geography, and the destination was Thailand. For Brigit Wilks, Regional Crew Manager and Debbie Nadeau, DTW FA, it was business as usual as they prepared Ms. Segedi’s classroom for departure. The chairs were aligned two abreast, with row after row designed to mirror that of a regional jet. With both crew members proudly wearing their wings, the students were about to embark on a learning journey that was truly first class.
“My son Jacob is a student of Ms. Segedi’s and when he asked if we could come in and help out, I just knew we would have a great learning moment for these students,” Brigit noted. “Before they even entered the classroom, we wanted to teach them all about the travel process—from security screening to boarding—and how we strive to operate as safely as possible on each and every flight.”
For many of the students, the classroom experience was the first time many had been exposed to the aviation industry, let alone the concept of actually flying somewhere. With every word, every action, Wilks and Nadeau played a role in transforming that classroom into cabin cruising through the sky, and the students—as well as the parents and administrators in the room—were transfixed by the experience.
“A lot of people are scared to fly,” added Nadeau. “When I first started, I was scared, too. But as we told the students, the more you learn about something, the less scary it becomes.”
The lessons for the day covered a wide range of topics—math for weight and balance, communication for customer service, science to understand the principles of flight—the students of Ms. Segedi’s class learned more in one morning of role playing than most learn through years of flying.
“Kids at this age, their little seven and eight year old brains, they remember the extra things,” added Wilks. “The attention to safety, the procedures and call outs from flight attendants…when they do go flying, those are going to be a memories that stick, and they’ll find the skies to be that much more friendly.”