Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

MHS Senior Internships: Learning Beyond the Walls of Classrooms

Today the Melrose High School Internship Program held its first ever Internship Fair. Over half of the Class of 2015 participated in a 4th quarter internship (which is graded based on successful completion of its respective responsibilities), and the fair was organized to allow students to showcase their experiences to other students, teachers, and visitors.

Students staged themselves at desks in the open area of the MHS Resource Center with printed nametags noting their internship placement or position. Some students had more formal presentations with posters, Powerpoints, work samples, and talking points while others were stream-of-consciousness. The students were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, articulate, and courteous; and it was clear that their employment helped them form some opinions about the working world (including what they might or might not pursue in the future) and offered a few surprises (e.g. police officers spend a lot more time than expected writing reports!). Their experiences were diverse and broad ranging. A few samples:

- A dual-language school in Boston / helping young students draw a self-portrait and write about it in Spanish, along with doing school event publicity;
- A Boston middle school / assisting a new-to-America, limited-English 8th grader in the navigation of American culture and language;
- A nursing home / supporting older adults with engaging activities, and observing distribution of medications, therapies, etc.;
- Local and regional Police Departments / reviewing and editing reports, and experiencing community policing. (Here’s one window into that experience: http://tinyurl.com/n7y9bj8);
- Tattoo studios / learning about the business and cleaning/sanitizing;
- A fish market / learning how the business operates including customer service;
- A real estate office / learning the financial operations end of the business;
- A plastics distributor / experiencing the shipping and handling segment of the work;
- A leadership consulting and training organization / exploring how the business works;
- A physical therapists office / understanding the operation and protocols of the work;
- Melrose elementary schools / exploring the teaching and learning process. Here are panels from a poster made by a Lincoln School intern:

 The internship opportunity provides a thoughtful way to transition students (who can fit it into their schedules) from a more structured learning environment into the broader, post-secondary world. Want to know more? Info for next year’s seniors is on p. 13 in the MHS Program of Studies http://tinyurl.com/mjkb6kc.

Great job Class of 2015!