This was a really interesting topic for me. I will be honest my thoughts this week are spare. I don’t have a lot of experience with internships. Working at a middle school this is really not even in the discussion due to age restrictions, transportation, and changing up the whole system of school.
I can see this topic being very important at the high school level. I know that our high school does a nice job getting students into the community and I know they have plans to make this even more important.
A couple things that really stood out to me through the chats and readings is that the times have changed. I know getting students into jobs when I was in school was geared to students not thinking college. Today this double standard no longer holds true. All students need to get out into the job market with internships because every single student needs to have this learning opportunity. It gives them a chance to document and experience their own learning and to gain a sense about what they want to do in life.
Thinking about this shift in mindset and bringing it down to the middle school level I see two things that we need to do.
1. Increase field trips – we need to bring field trips back into the landscape of education. This allows us to teach students how to behave in public as well as giving us a small opportunity to get students seeing the community. So many students do not get a chance to get out and see what is going on around us. They are trapped into the filter bubble of their family and friends. We need to get them out to seeing all the possibilities.
2. Bring more experts into the school – we cannot get all students out into the “real world” at the middle school level. But, we can bring in more and more experts into the school. This plants the seeds of thought into the brains of our youth. From here when they move to high school they have the carrot dangling in front of them to be excited about leaving school for their internships.
Those are my thoughts on internship. Here are a few other random thoughts I had through the week on the content.
- Taking a hands on approach is essential. Celebrate success and failures.
- Mattering is a big deal!
- Building of social capital. Learning how to learn things
Internships aside, students need to know that their work matters. It does not matter the class or content, but we have to make the work matter. No only do we have to make their work matter, but we need to make sure they feel like they matter as well.
The biggest issue I see right now with students is the last bullet. I see a huge disconnect with students with them wanting to learn and wanting to learn how to learn. I think there is so much pressure on grades that we focus on points and percentages by students, families, and community rather than the actual learning process and the actual learning taking place. I would argue that many would want their child to have a good grade and learn very little as opposed to learning a great deal and not earning an A. This is a generalization and I realize it, but it does hold some merit.
And those are my thoughts for the week!