Sonoma County Office of Education

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Teachers get inspiration, insight from local job sites

06/26/2017 -

Teachers discuss design at The Engine is Red"Make the studio your home this week.” That’s what Chris Denny, founder and president of creative agency The Engine is Red, told a group of Windsor High School teachers on Monday morning, June 26. The Engine is just one of several local businesses that are hosting teacher externships this summer. The goal? For educators to learn about an industry, then take that knowledge back to the classroom and provide students with authentic, preparatory job experience. As one teacher put it, it’s a chance for them to absorb industry skills, terms, and workflow in a “real-world setting.” Teachers also learn about the technical requirements for employment in the selected industry as well as the collaborative “soft skills” needed to be successful in that particular career.

The externship program started in 2014 and involved eight teaching teams at eight job sites. It's grown dramatically and this year is offering 52 teachers from around the county these externships, at 18 different job sites. Job sites range from Keysight to Traditional Medicinals to the Sonoma County Detention Facility, and many more. The externships are coordinated through SCOE's College and Career Readiness Services department (formerly called CTE). Teachers receive a stipend for their participation.

Over the next week, the Windsor High teachers will hear from The Engine’s creative team on topics ranging from the nuts and bolts of graphic design all the way to strategic planning. In exchange, Denny asks that teachers return to their classrooms with a message: There are many job opportunities in the creative field, and you don’t have to sacrifice your passion in order to make a living.

Teachers collaborate with The Engine is Red Design Firm