Martha Mitchell can’t count how many times her math students asked, “When are we ever going to have to use this?”
Those questions dwindled when Mitchell’s students learned to use trigonometry equations to develop stage sets in a Country Music Television-like awards show. Teacher externships, in which educators spend time in work settings, played a key role in that. The programs provide teachers with exceptional professional opportunities to link their classrooms to the workplace.
When Mitchell and her colleagues at McGavock High School in Nashville, Tenn., began embarking on externships at local businesses, including CMT, the educators gained first-hand exposure to how what they are teaching is, or can be, relevant to their students. The goal is to take that knowledge back to the classroom—but not just in lecture form. Instead, with continual support from businesses, teachers can implement projects and activities that provide hands-on understanding.
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