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Learning by teaching: NPHS Career Exploration Program matches up future educators

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Learning by teaching: NPHS Career Exploration Program matches up future educators

Kelly kugler working with a group of her students and teaching them character traits.

Kelly kugler working with a group of her students and teaching them character traits.

Brianna Iannuzzi

Kelly kugler working with a group of her students and teaching them character traits.

Brianna Iannuzzi

Brianna Iannuzzi

Kelly kugler working with a group of her students and teaching them character traits.

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School may feel like a job for many students at North Penn High School. They wake up at the crack of dawn to work long hours, get stuck in morning traffic, and never forget their coffee just like those in the workforce every day. However, for those students participating in a career or work study, it really is a job, at least for part of the day.

Seniors at North Penn High School are given the opportunity to participate in the Career Exploration Program. This program allows students to work and observe at an off-campus location to further their knowledge and help them make a more informed decision on their future career.

To participate in this program, a student must have all of their required graduation credits completed through eleventh grade while they also maintain a 3.0 unweighted GPA throughout their participation.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, about eleven percent of teenagers and young adults are employed or working in education services, and there still is a great need for teachers across the country.

At North Penn, a large number of seniors participate in career study to learn about what having an occupation in education entails. From pre-K to the 12th grade, students shadow instructors from a variety grade levels and learn every detail about the process of being a teacher.

 

 

KELLY KUGLER – Gwyn-Nor Elementary School 

As a young girl, senior Kelly Kugler has always dreamt of becoming a fourth grade teacher. She is now making that dream a reality by working as a career study student with teacher Colleen Brown at Gwyn Nor Elementary.

Brown has been working at the elementary level for fourteen years now. She was a third grade teacher for eight years and is now on her sixth year as a fourth grade teacher.

Kugler never gets bored while working with Mrs. Brown. She is always put to multiple tasks to show her an insight of what a teacher really has to do.

“When Kelly is with me, it varies day to day. She does a lot of photocopying, a lot of cutting. She does many secretarial type of tasks. Sometimes she will pull kids and read with them in the hallway. It gives them a little TLC and shows my more fragile kids that they have multiple people to help them,” explained Brown.

Not only is Kugler hard at work with kids, but she is also working her hardest to make sure this is the career path she really wants to go on.

“I think that when you connect easily with kids and they look up to you as if you are a teacher it really makes you aware as to why you are doing this. Being a teacher has always seemed like such a rewarding job to me and now that I am in a teaching environment everyday it makes me realize how much this career means to me,” said Kugler.

Being a career student has really made me decide what I want to do. I was just accepted to Bloomsburg University and I hope to attend college there and study childhood education because this is a job that I know I would love”

— Kelly Kugler, NPHS Senior

Not only does Brown think that career study is an amazing opportunity, she also thinks of herself feeling “special”  when students want to come back and learn how to be just like her.

“I think special is the word. When kids come back and want to spend time here and they will say things about how different I am with the kids versus their teachers that they have had over the years. There are times where I will be hard on the class and the career study student will tell me how sweet I am. So to hear that from them is always special and especially when they want to be a lot like me,” described Brown.

As high school comes to an end for Kugler, she has learned a lot about her career. It has helped her shape the rest of her life and help her understand her future.

“Being a career student has really made me decide what I want to do. I was just accepted to Bloomsburg University and I hope to attend college there and study childhood education because this is a job that I know I would love,” said Kugler.

SHANNON DARCY – Pennfield Middle School French class 

With hopes of becoming a future French teacher, another senior, Shannon Darcy, participates in career study at Pennfield Middle School with French instructor Manda Clancy.

Katelyn Allan
BONJOUR! Senior Shannon Darcy works with middle school French teacher Manda Clancy as part of her career study exploration.

Darcy takes a few majors at North Penn High School such as social studies, English, and of course, AP French. She then heads to Pennfield during sixth period every day and leaves at 2:12, which is when the high school dismisses.

“I think it’s a great experience for students who want to teach and see if maybe that age level or if teaching is right for them,” Darcy explained.

Her experience in career study consists of grading an abundance of papers, teaching basic cultural lessons for the different levels of French, and even writing up students for misbehaving, especially for prohibited cell phone use.

Many students hope to become teachers for typical subjects like math, science, or history. It has seemed to be somewhat rare for a student to want to teach a foreign language since it is incredibly complex and takes years to master.

“I have just really liked French throughout the five years I’ve taken it and it always seemed like a class that has more flexibility rather than a certain curriculum where you have to teach set by set. I can expand more on what I want to teach and it’s a lot more fun. We get to do games in the class and it feels a lot more personalized,” described Darcy.

As for her relationship with Clancy, the two have become very close over the past three months, and Darcy feels that she has been incredibly helpful. They practice speaking in French when class is not in session and she is always given a lot of work to improve her speaking skills.

Darcy has enjoyed her experience in Career Study tremendously so far, and hopes to major in French Education at a to-be-decided Pennsylvania state school.

EMMA KORTZ – NPHS English and Writing 

As for a more hands-off experience, senior Emma Kortz is working with her English teacher, Mr. Anthony Gillespie, as part of her Career Study at the high school level. She hopes to become a writer, and part of her internship includes being president of The Troubadour and writing stories for Mr. Gillespie.

“It’s a mentorship for writing basically. It’s something I want to major in at college, and running The Troubadour is a part of it,” Kortz explained.

Unlike others in career study, Kortz’s mentorship with Gillespie is a bit different to most others in the program. While most career studies have students work outside of school, Kortz spends her mentorship in the IMC, writing stories on her Chromebook.

“My situation is kind of different because most of them are like people who are going to dentist offices, or labs, or something. There’s one person I know who works at a SEPTA office. Most of it is out of school,”  Kortz explained.

NPHS Senior Emma Kortz hard at work on a writing initiative for her career study work at NPHS.

When it comes to Gillespie’s involvement, the position is different from most as Kortz’s mentorship isn’t in a field of group involvement.

“It’s not really a hands on experience as I’m going into writing and want to write a novel at some point,” Kortz said on the level of involvement from Mr. Gillespie.

When it comes to down the line, Kortz’s plans to take from this career study follow her farther into literary pursuits.

As the school year moves forward, Career Study students are constantly absorbing what they learn as teaching assistants every day. For all incoming seniors, the students have given a lot of advice and information as to why everyone should join the program.

“I didn’t just do Career Study to leave early, I did it for myself and my future. It gives you a great opportunity to grow as a person and has helped me become more comfortable in a classroom setting. This program is an amazing experience that not many people ever take up. It really has helped me decide my future and I am glad that I was able to be take it,” said Kugler.

“I would recommend it. I think it’s a really fun class. It’s really important to keep up with your grades because one of the requirements is to have your Keystones be proficient or advanced and you have to have at least a 3.0 GPA. Also make the decision to do career study early so you aren’t waiting until the last minute because that’s when it can get really stressful,” said Darcy.

The world is in constant need for new teachers, and North Penn’s Career Study students are already making contributions to the future with their work in helping others.

Career Study is a great program all around and has helped many figure out a desired career for themselves in the future and gives them experience that not everyone can get before college, whether it be in education or any other field.

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “Learning by teaching: NPHS Career Exploration Program matches up future educators”

  1. David Baik on December 19th, 2018 9:24 am

    The story was very well-written. I like how you guys used people from the program who each do very different things with her respective teacher. The quotes really tell the story, and you guys packed a lot of information about Career Study that I would otherwise not have known.

  2. Casey Nielsen on December 19th, 2018 9:25 am

    I really liked the article and all the information it gives about career study. It’s great for people who want to look into career study for their senior year.

  3. Julia on December 19th, 2018 9:25 am

    I really like how you organized your article to make it easier to read. I also really liked the quotes you had from your interviews.

  4. Kelsey McKeever on December 19th, 2018 9:29 am

    Very informative and interesting. I love the use of the quotes.

  5. Rebecca Brandolph on December 19th, 2018 9:33 am

    I really enjoyed this article! The variation in students interviews is great.

  6. Ryan Voron on December 19th, 2018 9:50 am

    I liked the inside look on career study, and how much work that the students have to put into it.

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