Tuesday, August 12, 2008

new J-O-B

I have to say, I am pretty pumped about my new job. I am in charge of volleyball, Credit Recovery, and the Missouri Option program at Central, so I literally get to help kids get their diplomas. (Credit Recovery has nothing to do with finances, by the way. It’s for kids who have failed a class and have to earn credit for it quickly. Basically, a second chance…)

I had no clue Missouri Option even existed until I got the job, but now that I am learning more about it I can’t imagine going back to a regular classroom.

Here’s the main idea: MO Option is an alternative program enabling students to earn a high school diploma through academic testing (the GED) and work experiences. Basically, I see a group of MO Option kids about 15 hours a week (3 hours a day). They come to my classroom to prepare to take the GED, and I help them complete their study guides, prepare them for life after high school, and get them signed up for the test. They work at their own pace, so my main job is to help them along and make sure they are ready for the test. Students are also required to work or volunteer 15-20 hours a week, so they get work experience that will help them get better jobs in the future. AND, they will get to research careers and job shadow to get an idea of what they would like to do in the future. On top of all that, we get to take several field trips so kids can get an idea of what’s out there as far as jobs are concerned, and we get to have lunch at the Tower Club so the kids can learn proper etiquette. Many speakers from the community also take time out of their days to come talk to the kids, which makes them feel like they’re worth something to someone. (Many of them have never felt that way.) Anyway, we could have some ups and downs, but I am excited to work with these kids. This program is their last chance to get a diploma, because they don’t have enough credits to finish high school with their peers. If not for this program, many of them would simply drop out and lose hope (and I assure you, most of them are in that position in the first place because of some circumstances that are out of their control). In addition to all of the above, I plan to do some character education (beginning with Hal Urban) to help these kids approach life with new eyes. What an outstanding example of grace in our public school system.

As for volleyball, I really enjoy the girls (and the coaches I work with), but the gig makes me a wee-bit nervous. I want to do what's best for them on and off the court, and sometimes it's difficult to know what really IS best. So prayers appreciated.