Monday, August 29, 2011

Replacing senioritis with meaningful life experience

How much did you learn spring semester of your senior year of college? Honestly, the most meaningful experience for me was volunteering with autistic and special education students at a local elementary school after I took the English AP exam. Perhaps that very experience is part of the reason I am a teacher today. I can't say I learned too much in my other classes.

Let's face it, seniors have no will-power at the end of the high-school career to keep schlepping through traditional academic course-work. Once accepted to college, the only ambition seems to keep your GPA high-enough to avoid losing admission or any scholarships. Not much intrinsic motivation there. But what if you could put those students into real-world working situations? What if we could expose students to team-work, the work place, and give them internships and projects that are tailored to their interests? Well WISE has been doing precisely that since 1972. Founded in Greenburgh, New York, the program now has national scope, and continues to spread to high schools across the country. My only question is, how come I haven't heard of this program sooner?

I am excited that the school where I will be teaching this fall will be implementing this program for the first time for its seniors.


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