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Pursuing Your Passion

Ambition. One word...packed with meaning. I would argue that being a teacher is one of the most rewarding professions out there because we get to help make dreams become a reality. We inspire. We motivate. We coach. We assess. We praise. We teach. All in a day's work. Working with young people is a privilege that we don't take lightly, and it is always our goal to help them realize and reach their goals. There is no better way to help students find their way than offering different learning opportunities and unique class options. As I've discussed in previous posts, I am proud of the courses offered by our school that help students gain knowledge, practice, and skill that will eventually help them on their chosen path in life.

The passion, energy, and talent I witnessed this week as I continued my classroom visits left me invigorated and anxious to come back to visit in the future. In particular, I visited two classes that I've heard about and walked past on numerous occasions but never actually stepped in to see what they were all about: Fashion and Construction and Child Development/Early Childhood. Along with enrolling in these classes, many of our students are hopeful to continue in a related professional field in the future. I am excited to share what I observed and hope to illuminate the passion, energy, and talent I referenced above:

Designer Dreams
Skills. Yes, our Apparel and Construction students have mad skills when it comes to design and creation. When I visited our Fashion and Construction class, I quickly learned that our students' talents are quite impressive, and we provide an awesome, creative outlet for future fashion designers. Ms. Megan Jensen explained that the class I visited includes three levels of students and depending on their experience and past classes completed, their work and projects vary. While Ms. Jensen walks around to assist her students, it is clear that all students are immersed in their projects and talk to one another about their progress, frustrations, and hopes for the final product. When asked, each student explained his/her current project, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many different pieces of apparel were being created. Everyone had a unique fabric, design, and method to their designing madness. Better yet...they got to choose their path. It was awesome. One student explained to me that she made her own homecoming dress, and she proudly showed me a picture of her work. In addition, she was able to articulate her struggles with the dress and what she would change in the future. Reflection and ownership at its finest. I learned that she plans to apply to fashion school in order to pursue her passion for design. This class provides such an awesome opportunity for her to be prepared for what lies ahead in her life, and who knows...maybe we will all be wearing her designs in the future. What a wonderful possibility!

Esteemed Educators 
Anyone who needs a pick-me-up during the day should visit a pre-school classroom. Luckily for us, we offer a pre-school program for 3-4-year-olds at our school. Even better....our students take the lead in lesson planning and instruction. As a mother of two young children, I was extremely impressed with the work I witnessed from our students and their teachers. Their energy, kindness, patience, and attitudes were all contagious, and I decided that my children need to be part of this program in the future. Ms. Gail Novosad, one of the Early Childhood teachers, explained to me the dynamic of the class, and her enthusiasm for the program was fun to witness. Students who are interested in working with children have the opportunity to take a child development class and then work as pre-school teachers to actual students. I learned from Ms. Kathy Tichelbaut and Ms. Novosad that there are different levels associated with the early childhood class, and our students - depending on their level - create lesson plans, assess the pre-school children's' milestones and progress, and also offer different interventions in order to help prepare the students for kindergarten. This program gives students the opportunity to actually teach, which is the best learning experience for understanding how to be a teacher. In addition, our teachers help coach and mentor these students based on what the observe in the classroom. Many people know at a young age that they want to teach others in one way or another. This program provides a wonderful stepping stone in making that dream a reality.

As evidence in both our Apparel and Construction and Child Development classes, our students are talented and crave opportunities to do what they are passionate about. We must empower our students and encourage them to work for what they want. By offering rewarding opportunities, we create awesome learning experiences for our students that drive their ambitions and passions to the next level. #whatsup