I have just finished my second summer externship with the Boise Watershed and yet again, it was a fantastic experience. As a science teacher, I am always looking for ways for me to bring the real world into my classroom and the externship experience does not disappoint. Not only was I able to participate in the day-to-day running of the Watershed by conducting tours, classes and outreach, but I was also able to be a part of some long-term planning for the new “Innovation Station” exhibit for the remodel of the museum. It was incredible to be a part of the planning team and experience professional collaboration with other environmental educators along with members of the environmental team for the City of Boise. It truly warms my heart that my contributions will be a part of the new Boise Watershed Climate Action Education Center (when it opens in Spring 2025) for years to come.
As if that weren’t enough, I was also able to get some work experience as an operator at the West Boise Water Renewal Facility. I was able to learn the job (which is physically demanding and pretty dirty) and talk with the other operators about their job pathways. Many of the water renewal facility employees did not have traditional steppingstones like college. Most worked their way up because of determination and dedication. Learning about different pathways to success from people who actually did the work was so valuable and I know my students will appreciate having this perspective.
A lot of people think it’s crazy to take the summer to get career and technical education experience as a teacher. It was a busy summer, but I still feel rejuvenated and excited to get back into the classroom and share all my experiences with my students. I still say it’s the best summer job EVER!