For high school students, deciding on a career path can be daunting and overwhelming. One way to help students narrow down their choices is to give them direct access to careers they are interested in. That is exactly what two Windsor High School students did when they visited JFS for the day.
"We’re going to do some 3-D printing today,” JFS technology teacher Jason Howes told his 6th-grade students as they filed into the classroom.
Howes’ students were joined by Windsor Central High School seniors Alexis Green and Brady Weingarten who sat in the class to observe Howes. Alexis and Brady are two of 18 seniors taking Introduction to Teaching and Education class who visited JFS for the day to observe teachers and their classrooms.
“Windsor is such a smaller district. The principal here said there are 800 students in this school. It’s more diverse and much bigger than Windsor,” said Alexis.
The students have already spent a day this school year observing classes at Windsor High School, Windsor Middle School or Palmer Elementary.
“It’s a bigger school, a different school, and it gives me a better idea of what kind of environment I want to work in,” said Weingarten.
These field visits not only give aspiring teachers a window into their preferred environment, but also their preferred set of students.
“This is showing me what level I want to teach. It’s showing me I want to teach younger students, and I wouldn’t know that without these observations,” said Brady.
Another lesson from these observations? Just what is important in a successful classroom.
“You need to connect with your students, create a safe space, and be sure to teach all students, not just a few,” said Green. “We saw that especially in the elementary schools. They taught more than math and English, they taught life skills. Some even created an atmosphere of a second family.”
The students will observe classes at the Johnson City Middle School in January. It will be another chance to see how an outside district approaches education and meet a new set of students.
“Students would ask us if we were teachers,” said WCHS senior Margaret Colosi.
And how did she answer?
“Not yet,” said Colosi.