The Class of Opportunity

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The Class of Opportunity

WORK IN PROGRESS - Senior Erik Zobel and Kathy Wendland herself pause their work to pose for a picture.

WORK IN PROGRESS - Senior Erik Zobel and Kathy Wendland herself pause their work to pose for a picture.

WORK IN PROGRESS - Senior Erik Zobel and Kathy Wendland herself pause their work to pose for a picture.

WORK IN PROGRESS - Senior Erik Zobel and Kathy Wendland herself pause their work to pose for a picture.

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Many students have roamed the halls of New Ulm High School and witnessed other students washing the windows, vacuuming the floors, and just cleaning up the school during class. While some students have expressed concern that the school is using kids in an exploitative way, this is simply not the case.

Work Based Learning is a class created by Kathy Wendland around eight to ten years ago. Wendland created this class with the intention to create opportunities for students to explore their job options and to know where their strengths are. “It is a great opportunity given to students who might not otherwise have this opportunity to help them achieve and be able to get a job and and have self confidence and esteem to be a member of the community,” Wendland says.

As previously stated, some students think that the school is using these kids in order to save money. These concerns are due to the fact that they are not aware that it is actually a class. When asked if she thinks it’s exploitative of the students, Senior Lucy Sletta said, “Oh definitely.” However, when we told her that it is actually a class created to help the students, she quickly changed her tune: “I didn’t know that, that’s cool!”

Wendland, who was not aware of these concerns, was saddened by the news. “I was not aware,” Wendland said. “In fact, I have had several students ask me how they can get into the class.” Wendland also informed us that the students in this class actually enjoy the class because it allows them to develop job skills and find their strengths.

Work Based Learning is not just a class, but an opportunity for every student who takes it. These students are learning important life skills and just happen to be cleaning the school in the process.

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The Class of Opportunity