Throughout the Fall 2014 quarter, students in Joel Bisser’s Professional Communications I class applied what they were learning by working with fourth and fifth graders at Orchard Lake Elementary in Lakeville.
Principal Marilynn Smith had a few goals for this project including both academic and social support.
“Even though they are still young, I want these kids to start thinking about college — to know that what they are learning now will be used in both the ‘real world’ as well as college.”
Every Friday afternoon for the entire quarter, MSB-Lakeville students traveled to Orchard Lake Elementary to work with the kids on several important academic and life skills, specifically math and budgeting. For one hour each week, students worked one-on-one and in small groups, applying the professional communications skills that they learned in their MSB classroom in a real-world setting.
Both the elementary and college students soon discovered that despite the gap in years, the distance between college and elementary school is not that great.
“It just so happened in my vet calculations class, we were working with fractions so the subject was fresh for me. When I told the kids that I was doing fractions in my class too, and that they will always use fractions, I think it helped them try harder to improve,” said MSB-Lakeville veterinary technology student Ashley Ritter.
Like MSB, Orchard Lake utilizes tablets as a teaching tool, so MSB students were also able to share their own knowledge with learning with iPads and were very helpful to both the teachers and kids.
MSB-Lakeville veterinary technology student Ania Raginiak said, “My experience in this class made me aware of the messages I send out to my friends, family, coworkers and schoolmates. It also helped me understand the power of good listening, eye contact, and asking the right questions.”
Medical assistant student Julia Magnan may best sum up the impact of the class and working with Orchard Lake students.
“All in all, throughout Professional Communications I, I learned how to be a more effective communicator. Our applied learning project at Orchard Lake helped me to apply the course material learned each week instantly and to practice positive verbal and nonverbal communication. The class helped me to understand how to work more effectively in a team setting as well as developing stronger soft skills. The class has given me greater knowledge that will help me moving forward with my business as well as in my personal life.”