About a year ago, I took my seniors to the middle school to present their senior projects on the careers of their choice.
The next day, we sat down and talked in all of my classes about what worked and what didn’t.
By the end of the day, I not only had their thoughts about how it went, but I had three or four pages of notes about what they thought would be far better: a day where they presented their well-researched projects to the underclassmen at the high school, an audience that would benefit far more from their hard work.
I was convinced.
So was everyone else I shared it with later.
And after months of planning and work – coaching the seniors through their research and presentation creation, recruiting outside professionals to come and speak, doing career interest inventories and surveys with the underclassmen, organizing who was presenting with whom and where, assigning underclassmen to presentations, and planning luncheons to thank all of our speakers – we were able to see the fruits of those discussions from last year.
Our students were proud of themselves. Our speakers were impressed with what we were able to organize. Our faculty was wowed by the opportunity we created for all of our students.
To quote my husband (one of the outside speakers we had – and it was a real honor to get to see him present), “I wish someone had done this for me when I was a senior.”
That’s pretty profound.
I’m so grateful to work with others who were willing to take the risk on this incredibly complex project to plan and organize – my fellow English teachers Amy Gehring and Eric Fite, our guidance counselors Amy Heinbach and Lora Nestor, and our librarian Janet Denlinger.
I couldn’t be more proud of what we do at our school than to see this plan in action today.