Are you a middle school teacher struggling to meet the standards for the FL Business Leadership Skills course? Kelsey Kemp at Parkway Middle School in Osceola County, Florida has found a way to successfully meet those standards.
Parkway Middle School is very focused on college and career readiness, but Kelsey needs to make sure her lessons align to the Florida Curriculum Frameworks standards when teaching these skills. Creating and aligning lessons to standards in Florida courses is very time consuming for teachers. It is even more difficult to find content that meets these standards and also helps her students become “college and career ready.”
Business&ITCenter21 has been a successful resource for Kelsey and others in the School District of Osceola County. Not only does it meet her standards, it helps her teach important career readiness skills.
About Kelsey Kemp and Parkway Middle School
Kelsey Kemp teaches the business technology program at Parkway Middle School in Osceola County, Florida. Specifically, Kemp teaches Computing for College and Career and Business Leadership Skills to eighth graders. When students complete the year-long Computing for College and Career course, they are eligible to take three tests can earn them a college credit.
“We are really pushing the college and career readiness and most of my courses intertwine that...
Using Business&ITCenter21 just reinforces it. There are the professionalism and business communication modules. And there are all the different programs for teaching Microsoft Office, which is vital nowadays with any job. Students need to have those skills.”
She went on to share that it surprised her when she started at Parkway, how many students felt like they were experts in Microsoft Office, but they didn’t know how to really create a PowerPoint or to write a research paper, to even start it.
“So not only is the online curriculum great, but then you also have the worksheets and the quizzes. The electronic quizzes can show not only what they’ve learned, but show me what they’ve learned much more quickly. I can figure out very quickly who needs help, and what areas we need to work on. And so I use a vast amount of the Business&ITCenter21 library.”
College & Career Readiness Involves More Than Soft Skills
Kemp’s approach is a little unique. At most schools, you’ll find a college and career readiness course that primarily focuses on career exploration, job seeking skills, communication skills, and digital citizenship. Kemp does that, plus so much more. She includes a solid foundational understanding of and ability in Microsoft Office applications as part of what makes a student “college and career ready.” In this way, Kemp is preparing her students for an easier transition from middle and high school to where they go from there.
“Some students don’t realize it, especially when we’re working on Excel. But they’ll find that later on down the road they might need Excel. Even if they just need it for personal reasons. They may need to create some type of spreadsheet, and they’ll need to use formulas and different things like that.
It’s stuff that I personally never experienced until I went to college. I wish I would have had some experience, because Excel was like a foreign language trying to figure it out the first time.”
Kemp likes Business&ITCenter21 because it chunks content and gives students digestible pieces that they can take and absorb. Though, she does not expect them to master everything.
“If I can at least show them this, maybe they’ll be better prepared for high school, or college, or their careers. That’s our whole push. It’s just trying to make that wellrounded person, or at least the starting of it.”
How She Uses Business&ITCenter21
Kemp's classes are about 1 hour and 15 minutes with a block schedule. The majority of student work is all on the computer. They normally have a short discussion period at the beginning of class to discuss what they’ve done and to review information or maybe go over new information. The real heart of her class is when students get started on the computers. During that time, they’ll all be logged in viewing and learning content and doing practice. They’ll get worksheets and complete them. And then when they finish however many lessons are in that unit, they take their online quiz.
“There are such wonderful PowerPoints with the system for almost all the lessons. I use those for review and discussion of the curriculum again with the class.”
In her FL Business Leadership class, students are working on career development. Kemp has the students do an elevator speech based on their career research and their potential careers. Students pick one of those careers for their elevator speech.
“The premise is that they’ve already done all the schooling, they have all the requirements, they have their training, and they have just run into the CEO or the manager of this dream job. They have 30-60 seconds to pitch themselves to this person, because it’s a once in a lifetime chance that they ran into this person. So I’m tying that in with career development because they’re already researching and investigating what has to go into getting into that career, or to go into that field.
It’s fun because we have different breaks when we’re on the computer. We break into small groups, and they’re practicing their speeches and what they’re going to say. For me it’s really exciting to watch them do this.”
Why Business&ITCenter21 Works for the FL Business Leadership Course
Kemp shared that Business&ITCenter21 is a great resource for her classroom for a number of reasons. The eLearning curriculum being up to date has made a big difference. And the easy availability of support ensures she can get help when she needs it.
“Even though I have a wonderful classroom with computers, we can’t buy new books every year. So being able to use this system and incorporate it, has made life so much easier because I will have up to date information every year.
I also really love that you have an online/on-screen chat feature because it’s really helpful. When I have those questions, it’s almost guaranteed that within a few minutes, I’m getting an answer, or at least I’m getting some support, and that’s really nice.”