(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Teachers from the St. Joseph School District toured the hallways and various departments of the Mosaic Life Care hospital Tuesday morning as part of the district's teacher externship program.
Mosaic is one of the multiple city-wide partners with SJSD for the program. The district says about 15 teachers are touring seven business throughout the city to learn new, real-world aspects they can bring into their classroom.
"Even though I'm a reading and writing teacher, I'm learning what kind of informational texts and charts and information my students will need to decode and read," Kelsey Davis, a teacher in St. Joseph said. "The kids are constantly asking 'how will I ever use this is the real world, what's the real-world application to this?"
Davis has been teaching 8th grade at Robidoux Middle School for the past seven years. She says now, with this externship program, more teachers will have an even better answer to this question.
"To be able to answer that question for them confidently, that is invaluable as an educator because I will be able to say listen, I had this experience in Mosaic in the city you live in and this is what I saw," Davis said.
Various workers shared what a day was like in their position, demonstrated aspects of their equipment, and explained the required education for their position as teachers toured the Radiology and Mammography departments of Mosaic.
While facilitators say a large part of the externship program is to help teachers broaden their classrooms, the business partnering with the SJSD for the externship program are gaining a connection to future potential employees.
"We need the school district in order for us to continue to do a very good job in caring for our patients," Mosaic Life Care's Radiology Department Head, Sean Cowman, said. "Having folks come in as people are retiring and we are growing is vital."
Cowman said nearly 70 percent of the radiology department's employees came from the SJSD's Hillyard Technical Institute and Cowman says he would like that to continue. He also says many other businesses in St. Joseph enjoy hiring people ready to work from the community they are in.
"There is so much opportunity here that many folks just don't know about," Cowman said. "We need individuals to stay, we need them to stay at all costs."
"It is our job as educators to prepare our students to go into the community, I am a product of this community, my husband is a product of this community, and my kids are a product of this community," Davis said. "I'm excited for them [students] to learn about this kind of feild where there are constant opportunities for growth and there are constant opportunities for growth right here in St. Joe, you don't need to go to Kansas City or out of the state because its right here."