Welcoming the elementary kids to distance learning! (Megan Jewison)
Welcoming the elementary kids to distance learning!

Megan Jewison

Apprenticeship goes digital

With COVID-19 prevention protocol in full swing, New Ulm Public High School has gone fully online and the Apprenticeship class has had to adjust their curriculum.

May 5, 2020

Seniors cleaning out their lockers. Elementary children at Washington and Jefferson seeing their classmates for the last time. Senior apprentice students go and see their classes for the final time. Apprentice was ending so soon that no one had time to say goodbye.

With the current pandemic, apprentice and many other classes have had to adapt their course curriculum. This was not an easy task for the Apprenticeship class, as it is a very hands-on course and students were graded based on the activities they were completing with their assigned classes. Mrs. Longtin, the instructor for this course, has done a wonderful job coming up with a new curriculum that was not just full of busy work for her students.

Mrs. Longtin gave her students 3 choices about the course: take it as a pass-fail, opt-out, or take it as a letter grade. Whatever option you chose decided what course content you would be completing. There are weekly assignments called “weekly reflections” if you decided to take apprentice for a pass-fail; this is all you would be expected to complete. However, if you decided to take it for a letter grade you would also need to complete a lesson plan for the week.

I talked with the apprentice Jessica Kral about her decision for the course. “I took [apprentice] for a letter grade because it allows me to get more experience working with kids and helps my GPA.” This explanation was the common response I received from the apprentices who decided to take the course for a letter grade. However, the vast majority decided to take it for a pass-fail because it would neither hurt or improve their GPA.

The weekly reflections have been collectively very creative because they are designed to let the apprentice put their personal touch to it: ” I enjoy reading to the kids and personally interacting with them- anything creative,” Jessica Kral said when asked about her enjoyment in the new curriculum.

Overall, Mrs. Longtin and all of the apprentices are making the best out of the situation they are in because of the pandemic, but they are all in agreement that they would all rather be back in the classroom.

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