Over the past few months, I have taken the time to network with industry experts on LinkedIn. Through LinkedIn, I have made contacts and have also taken my students into the industry. In doing so, I have provided my students with the opportunity to see how the skills they are learning in publications are transferable in the real world. In addition, each and every business we have visited has offered to keep in contact with my students with possible internship opportunities down the road.
This opportunity allowed me to teach (and reiterate) some basic life skills like…
- Make eye contact
- Do your research before we visit
- Ask meaningful questions
- Say please and thank you
(And, my all time favorite…)
- Send a handwritten thank you note
I believe my students now see the value of the skills they have learned. In addition, instead of facing end-of-the-year “senioritis,” I now have a more engaged classroom. I have students, on their own, making business cards, creating resumes and applying for summer internships in the industry — none of this is required or suggested by me. They no longer see themselves as “just high school students.”
Ironically, one of my students has an interview with a local magazine on Friday. The student’s mom told her, “You better tell them you are not a real journalist; you are just a student.” That mentality has to end. Changing that mindset all begins with the expectations we set for our students and the experiences we are able to provide them.
Parkway West High School Ballwin, MO
Mother to Sydney and Zoe, wife of Michael and teacher to many publications students. Passionate about empowering students to be their personal best. Always striving to be better than I was yesterday.