I teach a technology program that runs three years and I am passionate about teaching my students how to learn on their own, navigate the professional world through resumes, cover letters, and informational interviews, and to realize that every opportunity is a prospect for networking and applying it to their future.
Melissa R, Class of 2012: Mrs. Aaronson teaches far more than what her curriculum requires; she offers students life lessons that we'd otherwise learn through harsh experiences. I do not only refer to the interviewing, business, and presentation tips that were drilled into minds since we met her but also the introspective lessons of learning who we are. In a particularly stressful time in my life, Mrs. Aaronson noticed my tension and addressed a problematic aspect of my personality. She confronted this instability and taught me that learning how to balance my life will help me live a more successful life. She reminded me of an even more vital sentiment: no matter how stubbornly independent a person is, everyone needs to learn when to ask for help, step away from something admittedly too difficult, and rest when it is necessary. Far beyond the actions of any of my other teachers, Mrs. Aaronson has taken a more personal approach to actually aid me through the obstacles that will constantly appear as time goes on. However, I am no more extraordinary than any of my classmates. Mrs. Aaronson actively seeks out ways to guide every student any way she can.
Demsy L, Class of 2012: In this world of inspiring figures that people look up to, there is Mrs. Aaronson. A force of nature disguised as a teacher emitting inspiration, perseverance, intelligence and just plain awesomeness. As a student, she has inspired me to always put my best foot forward, she has told me that being myself, is the key to my success. While being sincere she has always pointed out what I can improve in my academic life. Always willing to help, she has demonstrated great caring not only for me but for all her students.
The students in my Technology Academy begin creating their digital portfolios in the 10th grade which include their resumes, cover letters, work samples (websites, animations, writing samples, videos, etc), and community service reflections – all of which get reviewed by our business partners and mentors. Every project or challenge they do is meant to connect to the real world.
Recently, the juniors took on a tutorial project. The challenge: Choose a software program you are interested in and find a tutorial and create something new using that program. At first, most of the students just clicked around the computer and looked lost. The freedom to explore on their own was a foreign concept. However, after a few days of more students getting the idea – the room was finally buzzing with students trying to create new things on their own and sharing their accomplishments with each other. The smiles were contagious. The students then had to try to recreate what they learned using a similar software program and write a reflection. One student ended his reflection with this statement: “From this experience, I learned that I can learn anything I want without having my teacher telling me. I now feel confident that I can learn any program out there if I choose.” He asked if I was upset by this statement. I told him I had never felt more successful as a teacher.