25 Jan Time to Recruit
It is that time of year for students to begin the registration process for the 2014-15 school year. Also, it is time for teachers to begin their campaign to tell students what unique skills can be gained by signing up for their classes. Geometry in Construction is no different than many other classes. Whether it is the first time to offer the class or the 9th time to offer the class, explaining to students how a class such as Geometry in Construction is a must for successful enrollment. Below are tips that we have discovered over the past 8 years to promote Geometry in Construction.
The easiest thing for recruitment is to get in front of the Algebra 1 classes for 10 minutes. If possible, bring currently enrolled students with you to discuss Geometry in Construction. A similar option is to have Algebra 1 teachers bring their classes on a tour of the Geometry in Construction class area. Even if this is the start up year for GIC, there is value in getting kids to hear a presentation of GIC in the shop area.
Be sure to include topics such as:
- What classes can students continue on into once GIC is successfully completed? This answers the math question, “Can I take Algebra 2 if I take this class?”.
- What skills will I gain for my career path? Students heading to the trades will find general exposure to all construction trades and will then be able to continue their pathway by ???? For us, it is going to the local vocational center. Students going into the white-collar career paths of engineering, architecture, construction management, surveying, landscape design, and drafting will gain valuable hands-on experience in construction. According to professors at the college level, students with a basic knowledge of how things go together will have a better college experience in the engineering/construction career path.
- Be sure to address the question that is in most students mind, “I have never used a hammer or a saw, will I look dumb?”. We assume students have not used any tools prior to this class.
- Male students do not have an advantage over the females. In fact, because of the tools (light battery saws & palm nailers) available for use, females are equally likely to be successful. Power tools are optional as well as being on high places such as roofs. We make the statement “Males are better at framing, and females are better at plumbing, electrical, and finish work. It takes both groups to build a successful project.”
- Discuss the service-learning component if you have one. For us, we talk about building for a family from Habitat for Humanity. If not service learning, discuss what project(s) students will be creating.
- When possible we show a 2-3 minute video. Some schools can show it during video announcements.
- Create a brochure. The brochure should include 3 areas; one each for Students, Parents, and Administration/Counseling. Include topics such as:
- Students are ready to take Algebra 2 after completion of the course.
- Majority of students take GIC NOT because it is easy but because it is relevant. We answer the question “When are we ever going to use this math?”.
- Construction is not just for males. It provides a career path to high paying non-traditional careers for females.
- Power equipment is optional.
- Include a listing of career paths that benefit from GIC including green building.
- State test score information (or national if this is your first year) showing the favorable outcomes.
- No experience needed for construction.
- Community service opportunities through non-profit partnerships.
- All geometry standards are covered.
- It is fun.
Use back to school night or parent conferences to hand out the brochures mentioned above. If you have a back to school night, include currently enrolled students (if you have them) as representatives. Have a video running to grab attention (there are several on our website).
Counselors & Administrators
We buy an inexpensive lunch (yes, out of our pocket) for all counseling/administrators. The catch is they get an opportunity to hear a 15 minute presentation.
- We hand out the brochures and highlight items from it.
- We discuss career paths that benefit from enrollment in GIC.
- We discuss state or national test scores comparing regular geometry classes to GIC.
- We do not assume counselors know all about our program. It is too much to expect a counselor to know everything about every special program in our school.
- We suggest the brochure is placed on the counselor bulletin board or under the glass on their desk for easy reference. We take lots of questions.
Good luck with your efforts!