Each student meets with a Graham School advisor to begin the process of creating an individual Walkabout program. After the initial course plan is completed, the student will prepare a resume and a Walkabout proposal to present to the school for approval and to help introduce him or her to a prospective business or project mentor. After the student interviews with a prospective mentor and both parties decide to proceed with a Walkabout, the student works at the chosen placement under the guidance of the mentor. Here, the student experiences a representative sample of the activities of the organization, in an exchange of service for learning.
- Determine working hours with placement mentor/site supervisor
- Follow agreed plan of Walkabout proposal
- Notify placement and school in case of absence or tardiness
- Keep daily journals; submit weekly to Graham School advisor
- Participate in weekly Walkabout seminar
- Earn high school credit only, unpaid
- Practice taking responsibility
- Experience accountability
- Experience a realistic sample of work activity
- Experience risk
- Present to the community what has been accomplished through a Symposium presentation
- Develop skills in real life experience
- Prepare for adult roles
- Build good working relationships with co-workers
- Test himself/herself in adult settings
- Be able to make educated decisions based on new information
- Gain confidence through challenge
- Learn a skill, explore an area of college study, or test a career possibility
- Clarify goals
Our community partners serve as concerned adults for our students to interact with and represent a special feature of our school. Because the mentor is outside the schools walls, he or she holds an important position in the students’ lives to guide them into what it means to be a self-directed learner who works respectfully and effectively with others. Ongoing conversation exists between TGS advisors, mentors, and students to outline, design, and implement the work for students at sites.
Experiences at our partner sites are designed to:
Responsibilities of a Site Mentor:
- Build students’ confidence that they can contribute important work that changes and/or adds to an organization, thus fostering a sense of accomplishment.
- Provide students with appropriately responsible tasks, creating deeper responsibility to the partner site and the larger community.
- Generate discussion and evaluation of how the internship informs the students’ personal and professional goals
- Provide opportunities to create products that demonstrate student learning, such as reflections, projects, research results, oral presentations, and artistic displays.
- Meet with the student’s advisor to discuss observations, concerns, overall progress of student, and upcoming projects and deadlines.
- Inform the student about the partner site, work expectations and other important information for their time with you.
- Keep an eye open for various projects the student could complete. This should be something that demonstrates how a student understands the site or could meet a specific need at your work place. Feel free to brainstorm possible projects with the student and share ideas with the advisor.
- Complete an evaluation of the student
- Observe the student and give feedback on what needs to be improved and what is done well.