Teachers involved in school-to-work programs are challenged to work in several ways that break with tradition. This document explores what teachers need to know for school-to-work programs to succeed, and what activities help them acquire this knowledge. Based on school studies and interviews with teachers, the authors establish a list of needs that includes a broad-based knowledge of the business community; the ability to communicate effectively with employers; and an understanding of employers' requirements and what work means to students. The most valuable activities are back-to-industry experiences; surveying the business community; working with advisory committees; and placing and monitoring students in mentoring, shadowing, or other employment situations. The best professional development activities, the authors noted, tend to be highly localized to the school and workplace community. Teachers and administrators involved in school-to-work programs will find this report helpful for how it clarifies and validates teachers' professional development needs.
MDS-937 / April 1996