Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doing What It Takes To Support Learning (Part 1)

I am a firm believer that schools must do everything possible to provide students with enriching learning experiences both during and outside of the school day.  It is also essential that schools support our students when they seek out meaningful learning opportunities on their own even if they occur when school is not in session.  In my opinion this is a no-brainer as it is our jobs to instill a passion for learning amongst our students.  Last year NMHS Business teacher Karen Vicari approached me about an opportunity that two of her students wanted to be a part of over the summer.  She strongly advocated for both to attend and detailed the many learning benefits associated with the program. The only sticking point was the cost for both to attend.  Needless to say I made sure that the school took care of this.

I was pleasantly surprised the other day when both students came to my office with thank you notes in hand.  Talk about making my day.  More importantly though I was so excited to learn in detail how much of a profound impact this experience had on both of them.  These letters epitomize why we do what we do for students here at New Milford HS.  When there is a value placed on learning it is our job to support those experiences. Below is one of the letters from junior Philip Glazman, who was kind enough to send me an electronic copy and allow for it to be posted on my blog.

Mr. Sheninger,

I’m very grateful for the generous financial support that enabled me to attend the Foundation for Free Enterprise’s Summer Business Camp. The camp delivered unforgettable experiences and expanded my knowledge of business and economics. I am appreciative of such an incredible opportunity that would not have been possible without Mrs. Vicari, the Board of Education, and you.

The Foundation for Free Enterprise 2012 Summer Camp was not only exciting; it provided a new perspective of the world that I lacked before. The speakers were phenomenal and I truly learned greatly from the seminars. The different seminars focused on specific aspects of business such as business law, accounting, finance, public speaking, and economics. The actual experience of creating a business plan was unforgettable. The students attending the camp were divided into groups which competed to create different businesses. In other words, each group’s objective was to create a feasible business that would attract investors or loan support from banks. The construction of the business plan developed team work, communication skills, and overall business skills.  In such a short period of time, I’ve discovered the fast pace world of business and economics.

I’ve gained a new perspective on issues involving economics. Since the end of camp, I have been reading renowned publications of economics and have been trying to educate myself further.  Not only has the camp added to my intellectual development, it changed me as a person. I have become more aware of the world and I have become an activist for free markets and capitalism at local nonprofit and political organizations. I am grateful that such a remarkable summer program exists and that the school was able to support my trip there. The Foundation for Free Enterprise Summer Business Camp has significantly changed my view of the world, and I am thankful.

Philip Glazman

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful. I agree that schools should support students in educational experiences outside the regular classroom setting. A local high school in my area has a program they call "Winterem" ( weeks during January when students do not have regular classes. Instead teachers collaborate to provide unique and subject- or interest-specific experiences for the students. Some students study abroad during this time, some students do in-depth laboratory research, others write full-length plays or produce their own films.

    I think when students have the freedom to explore their interests and learn things they are passionate about, it can have a great impact on their motivation to learn--just like your student here. What a great example!