Anyone having children in or teaching within our education system should read thisI had the distinct pleasure of visiting several of our high schools in the EGUSD and I have to tell you that what I experienced was nothing but amazing. Each of these schools had academy's that specialized in different types of classes that brought the student not only exposed to required school topic's but also prepared them for real life experiences and the business world. These classes ran the gamut from culinary classes, engineering, green energy, manufacturing, digital media, biotechnology, building trades, and everything inbetween. The goal of these academy's is to prepare our youth not only in college preparation, but also trades and skills that may only require a 1-2 year certification. These high schools are preparing kids for real life experiences and jobs. They are not suggesting that a child not go to college in fact these programs better prepare our kids to go to college by exposing them to many subjects that will require college degrees. The difference, the kids are able to spend time in high school to learn about and work within many different subjects that they may decide that they really like or not leaving them with a better perspective for what they do want to pursue so they don't spend the college years or money figuring it out.
The dedication of the teachers in these classrooms were far beyond what I expected. These are teachers who are finding ways to help keep their classes funded, have a teaching style that the kids can relate to, keeping the kids engaged in the work, and having the kids walk out of their programs well prepared for the next step. One girl who was in the academy for green renewable energy said that she has realized through this program that her college endeavor will be engineering but the skills she had learned in this class not only led her to the path she wants to take, but also gave her skills she can use in everyday life to fix and develop ways of doing things that she would have never had. She also said that this training would be her fallback plan so if she gets into engineering and realizes that is not for her she knows where she will go.
In a class on digital arts they had partnered with 4th and fifth grade teachers (as their clients) to make book covers for the childrens books that would visually and verbally make their students want to pick up those books and read them. We got to see their work and not only was it as professional as anyone being paid in the that area but they had created such skilled ways of illustrating the content of their work in a way that would peek the minds of younger children.
To really appreciate this program I would urge anyone who can to research this program and hopefully find a way to bring this kind of education to all students. This is a game changer in how our children are taught. I hope this inspires every parent, and educator to strive to bring this kind of education to all our youth. There was a group of about fifteen of us with education ranging from no high school diploma to masters degrees and we all agreed we would have loved to have had this type of teaching when we were in high school. To learn more click on the links below: