It’s easy to get stuck in the hear-and-now, but there is great inspiration for middle schoolers at Kenwood Middle School. This school is having seventh-graders visited Northwest High School to observe classes in hopes of finding inspiration for a future career.
Thanks in part to a $785,000 TN LEAD grant the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System received in the spring, KMS teachers Shone McLaurin and Erica Fosmoe did something new and innovative to meet students’ needs.
“We researched and found that career exploration at an earlier stage in academics promotes more student interest and engagement,” KMS Principal Evelyn Martinez said.
Students visited NWHS and Kenwood High School to observe academic courses aligned with their future careers. Students will use their observation notes as part of research evidence. The culminating activity is an explanatory essay, using various informational text sources about their career of choice.
“Besides improving students’ reading, writing and research skills, we hope to challenge all seventh-graders to make better academic choices and pursue post-secondary education,” Martinez said.
The class was split – approximately 150 students went to NWHS, and the other half went to KWHS. In the afternoon, the groups swapped schools.
NWHS Assistant Principal Theresa Muckleroy greeted students, who then broke down into small groups. JROTC, automotive shop, collision repair shop, cosmetology, and Health Science Academy were just a few places the students observed.
They also met with Andrew Slight, Associated Student Government president, and several students. They talked briefly about what they should be aware of going into high school.
One message was to get involved with an organization as a freshman, then building into more as a sophomore and junior.Keeping grades is most important. “It will keep you out of the principal’s office, a place you don’t want to go,” Slight said, drawing laughter. He went on to tell them bad grades can keep you out of sports and some organizations.