Medford, Or.- Learning in and outside the classroom, that’s what Southern Oregon teachers are doing this week for their summer break.
That’s the gravy for teachers, when we see students outside the classroom and they come up and talk to you and say ‘Hey, you gave me this avenue or you exposed me to this,’ that’s kind of why you teach,” South Medford High School teacher, Wade Kadrmas said.
About twenty teachers from seven different school districts are spending their vacation working in local businesses.
“The more of these businesses I can get in my pocket as avenues for the kids, the more the better,” Kadrmas said.
It’s called a teacher externship program, where teachers bring what they’ve learned in the community back into the classroom.
“You know we’ve always heard ‘why do I need to know this? I don’t understand math. That’s not important.’ This shows them exactly what they’re doing in the classroom and how it applies in the real world,” Dana Schmate, manager at Rogue Workforce Partnership said.
The program is only two and half days but Kadrmas already has lesson plans he can take back to his students.
“I’vve been able to find something that is related to what i do in some of my robotics things in the classroom,” he said. “I’m going to be able to now bring the kids here at some point and show them some of the operations and we can go back and reproduce some of these at a smaller scale.”
And while the program teaches the teachers, in the end it’s about helping the students achieve their full potential.
“The exposure has been fantastic,” Kadrmas said. “I think I’m going to be able to open doors for kids that I think they have no idea that have been there.”
Six rogue valley companies and agencies are taking part in the externship. Among them- Amy’s Kitchen, Rogue Creamery and Valley Immediate Care.