Monday, July 6, 2009

What Business and Education Can Accomplish Through Partnership

In conjunction with the Business, Industry, and Education Alliance’s annual Teacher Externship Program, Prestwick House was thrilled to host two teacher externs from area schools. Delaware teachers June Craig and Michelle Peeling both spent three days speaking with various members of the Prestwick House staff, viewing products, asking questions, and getting a general idea of what a publishing company is all about.

The externship culminated in a round-table discussion during which the Prestwick House staff was able to ask questions about the changing school environment and how we might improve our products to help teachers in the field. The discussion was very informative and generated conversations on everything from the changing trends in education and the evolution of teaching techniques, to ways teachers use technology in the classroom.

“It was great to be able to share the world of publishing with teachers, but we really got a lot out of it, too,” says Prestwick House General Manager, Keith Bergstrom. “The chance to just sit and talk about how and why we do what we do was really valuable, and talking about the way that dedicated teachers (like Michelle and June) do things in their classrooms both validates what we’re doing and gives us some great ideas on how to improve our products.”

“One of the key themes of the round table discussion was the fact that educators are facing more difficulties today than they were ever before,” adds Prestwick House Staff Writer, Stephanie Polukis. “The most important members of our community, who are teaching, training, and preparing the future leaders of America, are finding it increasingly more difficult to do their jobs successfully. Since Prestwick House's mission is to lighten the burden on educators and make products that will help English teachers, it is absolutely necessary for our company stay up to date with current difficulties and trends in today’s schools.”

Prestwick House Brand Manager, Jerry Clark, agrees saying, “I found the experience very informative, especially in the area of how technology is being used in the classroom. A number of creative ideas came forth for new products that are sure to fulfill a need for teachers. We’re excited to get a few new prototypes under development in the coming months.”

Following the experience, all teacher externs attended a closing meeting. When BIEA evaluated the program’s success rate through questionnaires and discussion, responses from teacher externs were overwhelmingly positive.

“The Teacher Externship Program is an example of what business and education can accomplish through partnership,” writes Lori Aldrich, of the Delaware Business, Industry, Education Alliance. ‘Outstanding’ is the definitive word that was expressed by educators to describe […] the experience.”

“You, along with so many other Delaware mentors, impacted over 100 teachers state wide,” writes Michelle Peeling regarding her externship experience at Prestwick House. “Thanks for your continuing support and for being such a valuable resource for English/Language Arts teachers nationwide.”

Prestwick House staff was honored to have the opportunity to host teacher externs and hopes to continue this program in future years.

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