What’s an Externship?
TEX2 defines an externship as a professional development opportunity connecting the classroom to the workplace. Through conversation with industry leaders and via direct experience at a job site, the teacher learns about trends, skills and opportunities in industries related to their content area in order to enrich and strengthen instruction and to bring relevance to student learning.
The purpose of TEX2 is to provide resources and opportunities for educators to participate in externship experiences. The overarching goal of TEX2 is to offer educators a unique professional development opportunity that connects the classroom to the workplace to improve student academic achievement. By participating in a teacher externship experience, educators will engage in activities with business and industry to learn how classroom content and learning strategies are applied to the workplace. Externships will not only strengthen teachers’ knowledge and skills, but help them integrate new-found business/industry-based knowledge into their teaching practice.
Goals and Benefits for Teachers
By participating in externships, teachers will learn about:
- knowledge and skills students need to work in industry,
- industry trends, needs, and opportunities, and
- how to connect workplace needs to student learning.
Teachers will apply their learning by:
- creating new lesson plans connecting industry to student learning,
- integrating industry information into existing lessons,
- connecting industry experts to students via mentorships, guest lectures, events, and ultimately student internships, and
- sharing their learning with other educators.
Teachers will benefit from:
- increased awareness of real-world connections between their subject area and what they observe in industry,
- opportunities to reflect on their practice,
- connections with community professionals, and
- increased understanding of college and career readiness.
Benefits to Industry
By hosting teacher externs, industry partners will benefit from:
- increased teacher awareness of industry/workforce needs in hopes of building a future workforce,
- interactions with community members and building brand awareness,
- increased awareness of the local educational landscape as well as larger educational themes
- a beginning of ongoing connection between industry and education, and
- a mutual sharing of perspectives.
Benefits to Students
By having teachers who participate in an externship experience, students will benefit from:
- links between their curriculum and real-world experiences,
- connections to local career opportunities,
- exposure to future pathways that might have otherwise been unknown, and
- connections to industry professionals.