Building Bridges to Careers provides professional development opportunities for teachers. This fall semester, 13 area teachers, guidance counselors, and principals are completing the BB2C Teacher Resources online course for 3 graduate credit hours. Sally Latture is an intervention specialist at Marietta High School who chose to take the course in order to increase her knowledge of local career pathways and resources that can help her students create a post-secondary plan.
As part of the course requirements, Sally has created an Ohio Means Jobs account, researched local career pathway support programs, scholarships, and internship opportunities, reviewed board policy on career advising, and participated in the September BB2C Community Meeting. To directly connect this learning to students, Sally developed an educational career pathway for one of her students that included local employment options. Having students develop solutions to one of the many problem scenarios in the BB2C library is also a requirement of the course. For this assignment, Sally actually had her class complete two scenarios, the first one as a whole class in order to prepare them to work in independent groups on the second scenario. The scenario used for this assignment was RWPS #38 - Community Playground.
As we have found over and over again, the problem scenario process engages students differently than other instructional strategies, and teachers are usually surprised by this..."As I answered occasional questions from them, I was impressed by the way they conversed with each other. They were actually taking this assignment seriously and coming up with viable solutions to help find funding for this project. Even my most quiet student shared ideas with his partner and he became more involved in his learning. Over this time, the students needed very little redirection and maintained their focus on finding solutions for this project. I was really surprised by how little planning I had to do on my part."
Sally asked the students to reflect on the process, as well: "Most all of the students enjoyed working together and having the opportunity to be a little creative and come up with solutions. They enjoyed listening to each other and the different ideas each group had. What they didn’t like was the writing involved (it really wasn’t much) and the oral presentation that they had to complete as part of their grade. One student even mentioned that he liked the problem solving aspect and it wasn’t as difficult as he initially thought it would be."
The BB2C Teacher Resources course will be offered for the third time fall semester 2018. To date, 22 teachers, guidance counselors, and principals from 5 different school districts have completed the course.