My time here is almost done. My teaching responsibilities are done, so another student teacher and I used today to explore the rest of the school. We discovered the amazing cosmetology department. If students complete all the modules they will graduate ready to do a 1 year apprenticeship at a salon. The education they get would cost them $10,000 from a private school. I think that's awesome.
We also watched the annual Christmas lunch time stuff. The school sets up a venue for students to perform for their friends. They sell hot chocolate and donuts and students show off their skills. I was amazed at how supportive and respectful the students watching were. They made it a very safe place for their friends. There were some great performances and some that didn't go as well. But everyone was cheered and walked away from the mic with a smile on their face. The level of respect was incredible. Students obviously feel incredibly safe to be willing to open themselves up like that. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Then we spent some time with the skill class in the foods room. That was an entirely different experience. One of the student's mom was there. He's about to age out of the program because he's turning 20. And she is a bit sad that he has to leave. They seemed like they were having alot of fun and the EAs and teachers working with them were really patient and caring. My friend and I are going back tomorrow when they are in their regular classroom to see how the rest of the program goes.
Between cosmetology and the skills class, I was reminded at how narrow my focus has been for the last 5 weeks working with students taking Physics 20. A very small percentage of the students at this school are in that academic of a stream. And it's important to keep in mind that the school has a mandate to educate everyone, not just the top academic kids. But, this isn't something that's been mentioned in anyway in my classes. I have friends who got K&E assignments with their student teaching. And none of us had any clue what that even meant. (It goes, Skills, Prep, K&E, regular academic). I think that is something that was lacking from our IPT.