Prior to coming to DISES, I taught at the vocational school in Ellsworth. One of the goals of that school was preparing high school students for the work force, military service or a post secondary education, including vocational training or college. After many years in education and the private sector, my thinking has evolved into the belief that we must start earlier than the high school level in prepping children for their post secondary lives. While I do not think we should start sorting students into specific careers, we can do many things to prepare them for a career or further education.
Students at the middle level should have knowledge of the wide variety of options for their future, both work and education. Students should already be practicing a good work ethic, including coming to school on time, completing tasks in a timely manner, or how to collaborate and cooperate. They should learn that their current actions can follow them for the rest of their lives. Currently being done at the middle level, they should also learn about healthy and safe choices in social media, personal health, and social settings. Parents are the greatest influence in their child’s life and should talk to their children about all of these issues, the sooner the better. Schools can be partners in this process, but parents are the primary force.
– Michael Benjamin, Parent and DISES Principal