This school year will leave the seniors of North Lake School with a great deal more experience and preparedness for building careers through the efforts of Senior Experience class teacher Samantha Parks and her inclusion of a job shadow program.
The class has been mandatory since 2007, with Parks taking over the instruction in the 2008-2009 school year. The class is geared to exploring the students’ personalities and interests, giving them different tests in hopes to explore different careers for their future. “It’s structured to help students transfer beyond the classroom,” she said. They also practice resumes and hold mock interviews to build skills they will need.
Before the current school year, the seniors were responsible for choosing and completing different long term projects. They were required to spend 30 hours on whatever various topic they chose, which Parks said could range from learning how to play piano, remodeling a room or learning how to cook.
She decided to revamp the program by introducing career shadowing into the curriculum. “It seemed to be more relevant,” she said.
Twice during the year, though she said she is considering three, she is requiring her students to find professionals that hold careers interesting to them and shadow a day’s work to get a real sense of the job. She said there have been a real variety of careers and the response has been very positive. “Most students have gotten a lot out of it,” she said. “It’s directly related to how much experience they get to receive.”