Internships for Teachers: The Next Step In Growing Economic Infrastructure?

If there’s one thing that all graduating high school and college students can attest to hearing from their advisers on a daily basis, it’s probably something along the lines of: “you really need to look for an internship”. This should come to no surprise as having that work experience from an internship is vital for gaining a competitive advantage in the job market. Internships put students in an environment that is unlike anything they receive in the classroom. They learn real world skills that not only benefit themselves, but benefit the companies they work for who need a way to find reliable and skilled employees from the workforce pipeline that surrounds them.

At NCBCE, we saw the exceptional utility that internships provided to students so naturally, a question arose. If students need internships as a supplement to their classroom education, why not give teachers that same opportunity? Summarized wonderfully by Exec. Director Sue Breckenridge: “Most of our teachers don’t have a lot of experience outside of teaching, and if they do, it’s usually in retail or hospitality. What we are trying to do is give our teachers a look inside a business.”. These ideas eventually culminated to form the Teachers@Work program that is currently in its third year.

As our Teachers@Work program kicks off this summer, we look back at what this program has accomplished and what it can accomplish in the future. In its third year, Teachers@Work has seen phenomenal growth including an expansion program in Eastern North Carolina that, thanks to a grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation, is providing internships for 25 teachers in that area. This brings the total number of teachers enrolled from 18 last year to over 50 this year, spread out in diverse companies all over North Carolina from Spirit Aerosystems, Vidant and Lenoir Memorial Hospitals, to the Cherry Point Naval Readiness Center. These teachers will not only gain valuable work experience during the summer, but they also form lesson plans based on that experience in order to instill career readiness into their students.

If you are a representative from a company interested in hosting teachers for Teachers@Work, note that this program is open to our members only. If you are interested in joining, please check out the “Join Now” section under the Membership tab above.  If you are a teacher interested in participating next year, try contacting your principals or superintendents to make them aware of the program and the benefits that it will provide for your school.

Read more about the Eastern NC expansion project as well as more about the program in this Kinson News article by Dustin George (Link Below).