Teachers@Work Working In Lenoir County

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Two Woodington Middle School teachers will get hands-on training this summer that will help them – and by extension, their students – better relate to the skills young people need to acquire and be successful in jobs with local business and industry.

Two Woodington Middle School teachers will get hands-on training this summer that will help them – and by extension, their students – better relate to the skills young people need to acquire and be successful in jobs with local business and industry.

Sarah Neider, Woodington’s STEM Center facilitator, and science teacher Tiera Jones will work a week next month and Chef and the Farmer restaurant. To prepare, they sat down on Monday for PSHA training and an introduction to Lean Six SIgma, a lean manufacturing process that stresses teamwork and efficiency. 

They are tow of 51 middle and high school teachers selected for the Teachers@Work program, a joint initiative of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE), the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, STEM East and the N.C. Community College System. The program is funded by grants from Biogen, GSK, State Farm, and the Golden Leaf Foundation. 

“That are connecting businesses and schools in our community to teach teachers hard and soft skills within that business that we will be able to take back to our schools and teach.” Neider said.

Hard skills are those usually associated with learning in school, such as math and writing. Soft skills could also be called social or interactive skills – business etiquette or the ability to talk to people and work well in groups for instance.

Neider expects to spend time in several different areas of Chef and the Farmer’s business environment because the variety mirrors her classroom, where teams of students rotate through a series of introductions to 14 different STEM-related vocations during a semester.

Jones, however, wants to spend most of her time in the restaurant’s kitchen. “The cooking aspect relates a lot to the sixth-grade science curriculum, ” she said. Convection, conduction, radiation, the pot touching the burner, feeling the heat from the burner – those kinds of things relate.”

At the end of their time at the restaurant, to run from July 11-15, Neider and Jones will each create a lesson plan that showcases both hard and soft skills needed by future employees that are specific to the business.