Pottsgrove Teachers Give Industry Insights to Classes

WEST POTTSGROVE PA – Four West Pottsgrove Elementary School teachers who recently completed this year’s “Teacher in the Workplace” program, hosted by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and MontCo Works NOW, plan to use insights gained from learning about local industries to offer valuable life lessons to some of the Pottsgrove School District’s youngest students, they said.

Julia Stoudt and Regina Parke, both of whom teach first grade; Wendy Hasara, second grade; and Jean Randall, computer lab, explored trades that future career-holders might work in: construction, tourism, and health and human resources. All of them, in a video (above) posted Feb. 11 (2021; Thursday) to the MontCo Works NOW YouTube channel, found take-aways directly applicable to the young minds in their classes.

For Hasara, the need to know and apply basic math skills was immediately apparent by the nature of the construction business, she said, but so was the diversity of skills needed in almost all aspects of that trade. It’s gotten her thinking, she said, about devoting a day of her curriculum each year to a wide variety of career options “so kids know what’s out there.”

Stoudt said she met people with different knowledge and backgrounds collaborating for companies to succeed. Like Hasara, she focused on “expanding the idea behind” all individuals needed, thanks to their education and training, to make any business function. She expects to tell students about how workers they see regularly – those in a grocery store, for example – all fill specific but different roles in it.

Parke’s exposure to health and human services made her more aware, she said, of community resources available to families. She intends to “connect parents with that,” so both they and their students can benefit from what outside providers offer at no or little cost.

Randall observed the trades were educational environments themselves, places that valued and nurtured strategic thinking and problem solving. She “met some of the most amazing students and workers that didn’t do the college route,” she said, but were highly successful at their jobs. It reminded her to encourage students “that there are so many opportunities out there, and they can make a very good income off them.”

West Pottsgrove Principal Steve Sieller, in an e-mail, praised the teachers’ efforts and interest in bringing what they’d observed back into their lessons. He thanked them for taking time to experience and then share information about “workforce demands, current business practices, technology in the workplace, and learning about the education and career pathways of current employees.”

Still photo from YouTube supplied by MontCo Works Now

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