This video highlights Hatboro-Horsham High School’s internship program.
The diversity of our students’ interests and internship experiences is amazing! Hatboro-Horsham students have worked on engineering projects (installing and monitoring a solar collecting parking lot; the reconstruction of Rt. 309), in healthcare (hospitals, physical therapy, fitness, nutritional science, pharmaceutical science, dementia research), art and design (fashion design, architecture, photography). They have interned with the township parks system, at a long term projection weather agency, local television stations-we could go on and on. Our students are always teaching us about the world of work and of the possibilities for their futures.
The high school internship keeps seniors engaged in school during the senior year and benefits the student and their families beyond the internship experience:
High school interns do better in their post-secondary studies.
High school interns graduate from post-secondary colleges and trade schools at a higher rate than their non-interning peers.
High school interns graduate college in a more timely manner (with less post-secondary debt) than students who do not take advantage of this opportunity.
Senior internship puts you on the path to the 4.0 that really matters: (1) Personal capital, (2) Intellectual capital, (3) Social capital and (4) Financial capital
Important recognition: This program has evolved. Starting with 14 students in our first year and growing to well over 100 students a year, we, a team of teachers have worked, developed and tweaked the internship experience again and again. Without my colleagues interest and shared passion for authentic learning this student experience would not be as great as it is!
Thank you Terrie, Donna, Ted, Carol, Terri, Lauren, Jen and Lance!
We also depend heavily on our community mentors for leadership, career guidance (for students) and support. Thanks to all!
Thanks to Bob Anderson for the beautiful documentary at the top of this post.
Last week I recieved a direct Twitter message from a member of my PLN. In it was this simple message, “Keep the conversation going.” Patricia Hudak, thank you for the push.
Patricia is correct, the positive impact that career development academic interventions have on students is great and the conversation must not slip away. With so much attention devoted to teacher accountability, high stakes testing, etc. our focus seems to be getting lost. We must focus on students and learning.
My role has changed this school year. The career development/personal discovery course that was once required of all students in my school district is no more. It is my assignment to recreate the experience as an elective. To see where we have been and are now in Pathways class visit my teacher website.
I’ve discovered three TEDx videos that have been particularly meaningful in my work this fall.
Do you know your students “sparks”? Do you encourage them to pursue them? Do you connect your classroom content to them? I sent this talk to a retired administrator and former mentor. She responded with this: “I need to change my conversations with my grandchildren. I need to honor their sparks.” Practicing educators must change their conversations too.
Peter Benson: Sparks-How Youth Thrive
In the “new” Pathways class, I am piloting Road Trip Nation. It’s an exciting, interactive curriculum that will eventually lead us to a road trip that my students will plan based on their sparks and passions. It requires that my students discover and investigate their interests. The following TED talk is directed at high school students and fits in nicely with the RTN curriculum. I’m going to show this to my class on Wednesday and look forward to the discussion that follows.
Jullien Gordon: Driving School for Life
And finally, one for the older/college aged student in your life.
Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career
NEW PROJECT–A collaboration between local Chambers of Commerce and the School District!
I recently presented this project to the general membership of our local Chambers. The two Chambers executive boards, school administrators and I modeled this project from a similar program that was presented at the Integrated Learning Conference in 2011 at Penn State University.
Preparing students for success after graduation is a high priority for Hatboro-Horsham School District. Whether they attend a two- or four-year college, a technical, apprenticeship, military program or immediately enter the workforce, HH is committed to ensuring all students have the necessary skills and career maturity required to succeed.
The Greater Horsham Chamber of Commerce and The Greater Hatboro Chamber of Commerce together with the high school have collaborated to develop an employability certificate called the “School Counts Employability Certificate.”
The certificate connects learning in school to success in our community.
*Thanks to my friend Betty Holmboe for the inspiration and to Mary Dare, Jo-Anne Zapata and Becky Felton of the Horsham Chamber for helping me get this off the ground.
Have you heard of the newest movement in Professional Development? It’s called Ed Camp and it all started here in Philly.
What is Ed Camp? The following two video shorts explain it very well. Scroll below the videos to see pictures and my reflections about my first Ed Camp experience as well as additional Ed Camp resources.
If you have the chance to participate in an Ed Camp, do!
You will not be disappointed.
My Ed Camp Philly 2012 Experience!
This was my first Ed Camp. It was so much fun listening to and talking with other educators. No matter what the field or grade band, we all shared one thing: a passion for learning. Here’s how the day went:
1. Arrival. Ed Camp is not open to walk-ins. All attendees had pre-registered. This year’s camp was held in the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
2. Once checked in we immediately walked into the planning room where educators suggested topics of discussion and planned their day. There was plenty of chatter and excitement about the day and it’s possibilities.
In addition to the break out sessions, there was the opportunity to spend time in deep discussion on a particular topic. This is called the Inquiry Room. The topic of discussion for the Inquiry Room was determined by suggestion and then vote. Teachers wrote their ideas on flip chart and voted by placing dots next to the topic they would like to explore in depth. The Inquiry Room topic of choice: Blended Learning. All of this activity, sharing and snacks took about an hour.
3. The next activity was a quick opening assembly where the expections of the day were explained.
Ed Camp “housekeeping”:
What to expect
“Rule of two feet”
The Inquiry Room
“Leave no trace”
Security sign-in (required)
Lunch & after-party details
4. The schedule revealed (let the Twitter chat begin! #edcampphilly):
5. Two morning session time blocks. I’ll post some pictures of what it looked like.
Students participated in a presentation about physics, gaming and social networking.
There was time for networking and professional sharing.
6. Lunch: An hour of meeting, eating and sharing
7. The afternoon sessions-two more sessions of learning and sharing. What’s great about Ed Camp is that everyone participates and shares in every session.
8. The Smackdown. The end of the day was a celebration and sharing. A smackdown is where people wanting to share have two minutes to do so. It’s fast and furious and fun! I’ll post some pictures from the experience.
The sharing (more sharing of important Ed Camp resources below pictures):
The incredible Ed Camp Philly organizers:
Ed Camp resources: Ed Camp Philly Ed Camp started in Philly. It is a result of gifted educators–and they met online!
Ed Camp Foundation Ed Camp has gone global in just two short years. I know why-it’s an amazing Professional Development experience.
Ed Camp Wiki Thinking you might like to host an Ed Camp? See this wiki for the how-to’s!
We teachers need a wake-up call. Do we really understand the world our students are entering? To answer that question, think about this question first: When was the last time you applied for a job?
If it hasn’t been in a few years, then you likely have no idea what it’s like “out there.” (Do you know what a two column cover letter is?) And if you don’t know what the latest trends in job acquisition are, how can you equip your students? I know what you are thinking, “What do I care? My students are going to college.”
College and career readiness is getting a lot of press. Our future college students will soon be looking for meaningful internships. Do they know how to find one? Students going to community college will likely be working and going to school. They needed a job yesterday. Students going directly into the workforce want to find work that is more fulfilling than flipping burgers.
NPR’s Morning Edition, May 11, 2012: only 50% of young adults in their 20s who are college grads are employed full-time and only 1 in 5 working twenty somethings say they are in a career track job. I frequently tell my students that they are all career prep. Everyone one of them will have a career; it’s just a matter of when they begin their work life.
All students need strong job acquisition skills.
The new reality: a portfolio career. It’s different from a career portfolio. A portfolio career is about achieving balance in life and having meaningful and fulfilling work. People with a portfolio career have no jobs, they have projects. They enjoy autonomy and use the skills they enjoy using as they support themselves and their families. They are their own CEO; they are their own means of production.
In today’s difficult job market our students will need the skills necessary to create a portfolio career for themselves. Some workforce experts believe a portfolio career will become the norm.
Intrigued? Me too. It’s time to help our students prepare.
Katie Ledger TEDx: Your New Job (explains the portfolio career)
The ASCD conference was in Philadelphia this year making it very convenient for my HHSD colleagues and me to attend the three day event. My friend, Joyce Valenza, and I traveled to and from the conference every day and this is how I came to have the most unexpected and delightful conference experience.
As a blogger (and friend of Joyce), I was invited to participate in the press room activities. The perks of this experience were:
(1) Saturday I shared lunch and spoke with Matt McClure, superintendent of Cross County Schools in Cherry Valley, Ark., andLiliana Aguas, a teacher at Leconte Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif., winners of the association’s prestigious 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA). Both are amazing.
“As superintendent of Cross County Schools, Matt McClure has tackled the challenges of a rural school district and instituted an effective school turnaround program focused on the whole child. During his time as superintendent, McClure led a school revitalization process that effectively improved student achievement by turning around all the schools in his district from School Improvement Status to successful schools that focus on teaching standards that are relevant to students and have a real-world connection. In addition to improving district academics, McClure has instituted daily physical fitness classes, homework help, student tutoring, and enrichment activities that keep learning fun and students engaged.
During his time as superintendent, McClure also opened Arkansas’s first New Tech school and oversaw the opening of a medical facility on a school campus built to serve both students and community members. The Arkansas Department of Education has recognized McClure’s district as a Coordinated School Health district, and each weekend schools send home backpacks full of healthy foods to families in need. The district also offers an after-school program with cooking classes so the students can prepare and serve healthy snacks.” ASCD
“Liliana Aguas, is a 2nd grade dual-language immersion teacher at Leconte Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif. Aguas is committed to educating the whole child by promoting a genuine sense of community where students learn cooperatively, are intellectually challenged, and have their learning needs met through differentiated instruction. Aguas’s students participate in activities that promote self-discovery, such as creative writing, reader’s theater, and multicultural literature exploration. Aguas also creates a classroom environment that promotes student discovery of surrounding culture, bilingualism, and social justice.
Aguas’ classroom is a living environment designed for project-based learning, featuring a native plant garden and a tadpole and caterpillar habitat. Recently, Aguas held an international fair for her students and parents with poster presentations and a potluck, featuring dishes and music from the different countries the students researched. Aguas establishes strong partnerships with her students’ families and hosts “cafecitos,” or coffee time, with her Spanish-speaking parents.” ASCD
(2) Sunday I participated in a round-tablewith several ASCD authors including Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Joyce has permitted me to post her recording of the discussion we shared with Ms. Hayes Jacobs.
(3) What I found most interesting and fun about serving in the press room were the other bloggers. Many of these people I follow-they are part of my PLN and I met them in person. I felt like a Justin Beiber groupie must feel! I heard myself say several times, “Oh my gosh-I read your blog/twitter feed all the time. I can’t believe I’m actually meeting you!”
Here are the educators that I enjoyed talking to in the press room:
When I was not in the press room, I attended several great presentations. I’ve been studying eportfolios this year and found a great learning centered portfolio in Williston, VT. I also learned a lot about social networking and it’s impact on learning. More on what I learned on these topics to come…
I “met” Dave Rothacker last year as a result of our mutual concern about student success after high school-in other words, we’re both interested in career development. Dave recently wrote about my work on his blog Cultivating Awe. Dave, I am humbled. And thank you for calling attention to this important work.