By Chris Eversole
This school year, Mustang High School has enhanced its opportunities for service learning – the educational approach that emphasizes volunteering and career shadowing.
For the first time, students are serving in internships.
Six of the internships are in professional settings, and four work in IT at the school.
The intern locations include a hospital operating room, a veterinary hospital, a church and a dentist.
“We are giving them a taste of professional life to see if they want to pursue a field after they graduate,” said teacher Chad Harper.
The high school has offered service learning in the past, but this is the first year that it has assigned a teacher full time to the initiative.
“We want juniors and seniors to get their feet wet in life,” Harper said.
“In addition to working in the schools and the internships, we do volunteer work at places such as food banks.”
So far, the students have assisted teachers. Later in the year, they will develop and teach their own lesson plans, Harper said.
Rachel Hamel is assigned to a third-grade class at Mustang Creek Elementary. She had planned to become a nurse, but this experience is causing her to consider becoming a teacher, she said.
“I’ve come to appreciate my teachers more,” she said. “You have to work with 30 different minds.”
Teresa Hoang is helping at Canyon Ridge Intermediate School.
She’s been assisting a student with whom English is a second language.
“I slow it all down for her,” Hoang said.
Harper is enjoying his role.
“I really get a kick of watching my kids do such good things,” he said.