Turning the Tables: A New Educational Experience for Teachers
The educational world is ever-changing and expanding, which can be challenging for teachers who spend most of their working days inside their schools and in front of their students. But the Racine Unified School District is using a new program to take teachers out of their classrooms and into the world of local businesses - a world more of their students are getting exposure to every year.
The Teacher Externship Program was developed to show teachers what local businesses are really like by giving them real-world experience to bring back to the classroom. To do this, teams of teachers had the opportunity to visit several local businesses including Badger Meter, Modine, Twisted Cuisine and others. While at these local businesses, teachers learned the details of the workplace environment and the skills needed to be successful. From there, the educators were tasked with developing standards-based projects to be taught to their students.
“The fact that they intentionally partner with the community and schools so we can provide opportunities for our students is so refreshing,” said Megan King, a business teacher from Horlick High School who participated in an externship. “It really shows how business and education can be successful working together to get our kids ready for the next chapter.”
This experience for teachers will only further the work of the Academies of Racine. The main goal of the Academies is to give students real-world experience that connects the classroom to careers in the community.
“It doesn’t have to just be the teachers and the education system, we now can lean on our community partners for support and gain ideas on how to make what we are teaching more relevant,” said King.
RUSD hopes that this experience will become a springboard for even more opportunities between staff and local companies. This fall there are already plans to host externships at DeltaHawk, Educators Credit Union and Maple Table.