CRESTVIEW SCHOOLS Teachers get lessons in real-world education

A county engineer said dealing with people from all walks of life is important to success.
COLUMBIANA -- Some Crestview teachers are back in the classroom learning how to incorporate technology and real-world lessons into their classroom instruction.
Sixteen high school teachers are in the midst of a two-week summer program, which gives some of them the opportunity to meet with Mahoning Valley business leaders and brainstorm with Youngstown State University staff.
Superintendent John Dilling said the sessions are part of the district's implementation of its $150,000 Raising the Bar grant from the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund administered by the state. School officials are also using the grant to buy digital cameras, VCRs and computers to incorporate digital technology throughout the curriculum.
"We must provide our students with the opportunity to demonstrate not only the mastery of the theoretical side of our curriculum, but also provide them the opportunity to apply that knowledge to real-world applications," said principal John Gecina.
Making the connection: To that end, half the teachers in this summer program are learning about the business world's expectations of education, Gecina said. School officials want to develop strategies for teaching problem solving, teamwork, independent decision making, and responsibility, Gecina said.
The Crestview staff wants students to be able to analyze a problem and apply academic knowledge to find a solution, Gecina said.
One of the stops for some of the teachers was Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson's office.
Assistant engineer Bob Durbin and several members of the office staff were part of the discussion. The staff gave teachers a unique perspective as some members have been out of high school 15 years or more, and others within the past five years.
"We emphasized communication skills and knowing how to deal with all types of people," Durbin said. "We work with people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences every day. I deal with company presidents and engineers and I'm also out on the road talking to the guys digging ditches."
Suggestion: Durbin said the teachers were surprised at the engineers' suggestion that high school curriculum should include a course in finance.
"That isn't taught and kids get out into the world and don't know how to handle money," Durbin said. "That often gets them in a lot of trouble."
The other half of the teachers in the program are meeting this week with Karen Becker of YSU's reading and study skills center to discuss college preparation, lesson plans and ways to ease the transition from high school to college.
Sessions also include character education and developing goal-setting strategies.

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