Frenship ISD started the Teacher Externship program in 2018 with a $5,000 gift from BGR Architects and further funding from the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA). This summer, the program returned, after a two-year hiatus during COVID-19, under the management and funding of Workforce Solutions South Plains and LEDA.
“Frenship started the teacher externship program to provide a unique professional develop opportunity for our teachers,” said Keith Patrick, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Frenship ISD. “It’s an incredible experience for them to spend time with an employer experiencing real-world application of the skills they teach in their classrooms every day. My favorite part though is seeing how much the employers love having our teachers join them. They are always so impressed at their professionalism, work ethic, and excitement for the experience and the subjects they teach.”
Angela Howard, media specialist at Westwind Elementary, eagerly took part in this program and was paired with the City of Lubbock Communications Department.
Howard learned video editing skills and tips for social media, website, photography, videography, branding, and graphic design. During her time there, she worked on filming and editing video and preparing material for social media. An entire day was taken up setting up and running media (mics, cameras, tv, etc.) for a City Council Meeting, including the production and recording of the City Council Meeting for the City of Lubbock’s public TV channel, Channel 2.
Some of Howards favorite take aways were the amazing video creation and editing techniques she learned. They discussed how to apply these skills to the Westwind news program, social media, and with the students. She plans to pass along these techniques to students who will be helping her create videos for the school news and social media outlets.
Howard believes that this program is important to take part in because it affirms what they are teaching the students in school and what the students will be using in future careers. She went on to explain the small TV studio that they use to show the morning news at Westwind is a miniature version of what the City of Lubbock uses to produce and record the City Council meetings. The externship program teaches teachers real life application to what we do every day and benefits students in many ways.
“The connections made through this program are invaluable,” says Howard. “The people and companies I have worked with value our students and have stayed connected. There have even been instances when I have connected students directly with these companies for further learning and growth.”
When asked if Howard would recommend this program to other teachers she stated, “Absolutely! Teachers will walk away with much more than they ever dreamed they would.”