When I first started teaching at L’Anse Cruse Middle School South (over in the Detroit Metro area) years ago, there was a teacher on staff who had worked in the industry prior to switching over to teaching. He was a very popular teacher with the kids (being one of the football coaches might have had something to do with it!). I asked him about it once. It’s not like he hated what he was doing. But he wanted to do something more meaningful in his profession – something that made a difference. I’m sure all of us in education can relate to this.
However, years later, I look back and wonder what drew kids to him (besides being a football coach that is). It’s just a guess, but wonder if part of it revolved around the fact that he was able to share with kids – from personal experience – just how the things he was teaching would actually apply in the (I say this term tongue-in-cheek of course) “real world” because he’d been there, done it. I wonder if it made his teaching come just a little bit more alive.
As for me, I struggled at times, not knowing what I wanted out of my profession, let alone how to make those connections for my students. Having gone from high school to Higher Ed. (and learning to be a teacher), just to come back to public education, I couldn’t really tell students, “This is how you’re going to apply what I’m teaching you out there” in a real or tangible way. Part of it, I’m sure, was my inexperience or my career immaturity. But part of it might have been because I really didn’t know all the possibilities that lay out there. I guess my summer jobs working as a camp counselor, waiting tables or valeting cars just wasn’t a broad enough experience!
Maybe you’re able to make those connections far more easily than I was. Maybe you feel like I did. Or, maybe you’re somewhere in between. If you find yourself landing on one of the latter two, or if you’re just always looking for different ways to make your teaching relevant, current and connected to what is going on out in the “real world,” then maybe attending one of our Teachers in Industry tours is for you.
On these tours, you’ll get a chance to see careers in various industries, and discover just how professionals across the spectrum apply the things they learned from the classroom … in the “real world.” Come and check it out. That way, when your students ask the same question (for the millionth time), “When are we going to use this in the real world?” you can respond … “Funny you should ask!”
If you are interested in attending a tour, we have three sessions coming up this school year. Click on a date below to register for a tour:
Our guest blogger is Eric Kelliher, Kent ISD Career Readiness Consultant. Check out his Teacher in Industry page: http://tinyurl.com/kentisdT-in-I