On the Job Experiences Offered to Teachers

(Beloit, WI) By Hillary Gaven, Beloit Daily News

The School District of Beloit Board of Education voted to allow summer externships for its teachers at its Tuesday evening special meeting, according to Ryan Rewey, the School District of Beloit’s career and technical education director.

The externships are an opportunity for career and technical education (CTE) teachers in the science, math, technology and engineering (STEM) fields to work at area businesses which are related to what they teach.

“It will make what teachers teach in the classroom reflective of current industry practices,” Rewey said. “To continue with our overall goal of providing students with relevant curriculum that meets today’s industry standards, we also must be willing to provide staff with training opportunities.”

After the externship experience teachers can then revise their teaching, update lesson plans and provide students with current information on careers, Rewey said.

The summer externships are hoped to engage students in cooperative learning and real-life, problem-based assignments as well as strengthen the education and business connection in the district.

Rewey said, for example, that a teacher in welding could go work at a welding company or a teacher in construction could go work on a construction job site.

Rewey said teachers going on the externships would work at the company for one to two weeks. Although there’s no cost to the interested company there will be a small cost to the district. Rewey said the teachers would be paid a stipend that is yet-to-be-determined.

The interested companies would be volunteering their time. The benefit to the business would be the education and industry connection and collaboration.

The participating educators would be required to log a daily journal of activity and observations and create one or two lesson plans.

Although it hasn’t been determined where the teachers will go yet, two potential options are North American Tool in South Beloit and Precision Plus in Elkhorn, Wis.

Rewey said the goal is to have two teachers per summer in the program. One of the first teachers to participate would be Chris Klatt, Beloit Memorial High School’s CNC, machining and welding instructor. He will likely spend a week at North American Tool and a week and Precision Plus.