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Externships: FAQ

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear about teacher externships. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you may have. You can also sign up online to offer externship opportunities, or to have us contact you with more information.

What is a teacher externship?

Teacher externships connect the classroom to the workplace, helping educators to keep pace with various industry trends outside of the classroom. Teachers are matched with companies willing to offer experiences such as a day of job shadowing and longer project-based activities, that could run through winter or summer break, allowing them to learn through direct experience.

Teacher externships allow educators to see how what they are teaching is applied in the workplace, helping them to keep both their courses and their own skills current. With knowledge, they can make adjustments as needed to  enhance the relevance of the lessons they are teaching in school, ensuring that curriculum is suited to students’ career interests and preparing them for the ever-evolving workplace.

How do teachers benefit?

Externships bring teachers out of the classroom for professional development that further their end goal of preparing their students for post-graduation success. They are able to take what they learn from these experiences and apply it to their own lesson plans and conversations with students. Externships can also help them answer that enduring student question: “But why do I have to learn this?”

Additionally, it is a chance to forge relationships with area businesses who can go on to become mentors, classroom volunteers and even offer workplace learning opportunities for students.

How do employers benefit?

Much like internships and job shadowing for students, teacher externships allow businesses to shape their future workforce, enlightening educators on what the skills and characteristics they are looking for in employees. It can also be a way to identify potential gaps between what is being taught and the skills they will need from future employees.

Externships are also a tangible way to give back to the community, supporting teachers in their efforts to provide an educational experience that will prepare students for post-graduation success.

What are examples of externship opportunities?
  • Informational interviews – Teachers can meet with employers to ask questions about industry trends, hiring practices and expectations and other information that could help them in shaping relevant curriculum.
  • Job shadowing – Professionals can invite a teacher to spend a day sitting in on meetings, walking the plant floor and in other ways exposing them to a typical work day in their industry.
  • Resource gathering – Companies can provide educators with organizational charts, marketing plans, annual reports and other items that illustrate the inner workings of their business.
  • Project-based learning – Companies can bring a teacher in to work as part of their team over a period of weeks or months, allowing them to get hands-on experience.