We are just a few weeks away from the trip, and if it weren’t for exams, the students would probably be giddy with excitement by now. The hard work of the exams keeps their emotions in check, but several of them have count down timers on their desktops to remind them of how many days left until the trip.
It’s been a great year. The students are very responsible, interested, and enthusiastic, and our lesson set this year looks like it will be one of our best. We got the request from our Kenyan friend that we should develop lessons about careers. He told us that his students often would say things like “I want to be a lawyer” not knowing at all what a lawyer does or how one prepares for that career. I had students research a variety of careers, develop categories of careers – such as, “Working in Nature” – and then letting the student choose a category that appealed to them.
The categories the students came up with include: Music and Art, Sports, Food, Transportation, Working in Nature, Computers, Media, Education, Engineering, Building, Healthcare, Civil Service, Law, Math, Science, and Meteorology. (There was one additional category – Managing Money – that no one wanted to take on. I found that interesting, but we may tackle this one together when we are in St. John.)
It was challenging to come up with information that was universally informative and not America-centric. We also focused on making the language at about a 6th grade level, since many people using the lessons would not be native English speakers. To that end, we worked with CSG’s 6th graders to get a feel for what language is appropriate, how much reading we could expect, and how to make the lessons more engaging. We had to make sure that we made the lesson as broadly useful as possible, eliminating words like “high school education” since not everyone in the world calls what we do “high school.” Finally, we had long discussions about whether to include information about pay. We ultimately decide not to, since not only would people have to convert from dollars to their local currency, but we have no idea whether culturally the same relative pay scale exists worldwide. There were MANY lessons for our students!
Our plan is to show the lessons to our middle school students in St. John and use their feedback to polish the lessons during our free time in St. John. All in all, it was a very worthwhile experience. One that will hopefully yield great lessons that are used worldwide!
I do tend to write a lot of detail, so I’ll stop there. Please follow our trip blog as we switch over to our other page! And don’t forget to comment! It’s always nice to have some feedback!