2006 Coordinators Exchange
On October 20, 2006 coordinators from 25 WISE schools met to exchange ideas and learn from each other at the Coordinators Exchange at Woodlands High School in Hartsdale, New York.Faculty and Student Coordinators contributed to the lively conversation and generated many new ideas for both experienced and beginning coordinators.
Sessions included a problem-solving follow-up in which we checked to find out what problems from last year had been solved (amazingly, quite a few!) The coordinators listened to some ideas for WISE class activities presented by Vic Leviatin, who took everyone through a newspaper activity. Coordinators were encouraged to have students search for articles in newsapers to find topics related to their classmates’ projects. Other ideas for classroom activities included: 1) Assist classmates with placements and resources by surveying family and friends; 2) Exchange journals and peer edit or provide feedback; 3) Do five minute mini-presentation to practice presentation skills using a sub-topic of the project for the presentation. Include research and a visual;) Plan trips for the entire WISE group or sub-groups to locations related to projects (e.g newspaper office or hospital or large business with many types of jobs); 5) Locate and interview a community member in the area of your project and share interview results in class.
This was followed by a session in which student coordinators helped the group generate a list of activities for Student Coordinators. These included the following ideas: 1) Plan trip for WISE students; 2) Serve as WISE recruiters; 3) Do WISE office work – lists, letters, stuff envelopes and send information regarding Task Force meetings; 4) Help students with project problems; 5) Help students with project proposals; 6) Help students with project placements; 7) Serve as a bridge between students and Coordinators; 8) Appoint a member of the Junior Class as Jr. Coordinator to reach out and recruit juniors (they then become a Coordinator in the senior year for continuity; 9)Presentation scheduling; and 10) Recruit evaluators for presentations.
Linda Greene gave coordinators information and ideas for alumni celebrations such as five or ten year WISE graduate celebrations. A guide on how to set up such an event.was distributed. (Any coordinators who did not attend the Exchange and would like a copy of this guide should contact Linda.) This was followed by WISE website demonstrations from Cypress Bay and Woodlands High Schools and the viewing of a new student video about the Milken High School WISE program. During the last few minutes, coordinators were given the opportunity to share materials.
Among the ideas generated and materials shared were: website possibilities, school WISE newsletters, how to better use student coordinators, WISE group activities, WISE class lessons, the role of parents and other students as resources and contacts for WISE students.
Comments offered by attendees on the evaluation sheets included the following: “Well done! Thanks!”, “I valued everything I heard today,” “I got a lot of new, fresh ideas for the classroom,” “I valued the energy and enthusiasm of other WISE coordinators,” “Really useful and enjoyable!” “I learned that I’m on the right track with a long way to go,” and “Great workshop. Sharing is always good.” “Thank you – well organized, on time, great resources!”