Inside the Christian School is a series of reflections on aspects of Christian school education. Head of School, Steve Dill and members of the Delaware County Christian School (DC) Community contribute posts to the blog. Readers are encouraged to email authors of the posts with feedback. The content of the writing often uses DC as the example, but hopefully these thoughts also apply to Christian schools throughout the world. God has used Christian schools to shape thousands of believers in the past, and we believe He will continue to use these schools to make significant “kingdom impact” for years to come.
One of the unique learning opportunities that J-Term provides at Delaware County Christian School is internships. Internships scheduled during J-Term allow students to observe and experience a working professional’s life for two weeks. This experience in the world of adult realities allows them to see the joy and challenges faced by professionals in their respective fields. These experiences can aid in major decisions the students are currently facing and more importantly in the discovery of how God has uniquely equipped them.
This year, DC had 55 students participate in a two-week internship. Most students were located in the greater Philadelphia area but some completed their internships in farther away places such as Florida, Illinois, China, the Dominican Republic, Korea, and St. Vincent. They worked for a variety of professions and businesses including:
Airlines Ambulance Club Bakery Certified Public Accountants Church College Athletic Offices Courthouse Design Firm District Attorney's Office Electronics Company Elementary School Garden Center General Contractor Hospital Law Offices Local Newspaper Manufacturing Company Marketing and Print Company Municipal Judge Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Pain Management Consultants Pediatric Occupational Therapy Pet Resort Photography Studio Physical Therapy Professional Soccer Association Restaurant Science and Technology Development Firm Smaller Animal Home Surgery Center Vet Clinic
As part of growing and learning during their internships, students were required to share reflections on their experiences via an online forum. They were asked to share about topics such as what their first day was like, what they learned about factors required for success, how they were able to minister, “give back,” or be a blessing at their job site, and to describe their most memorable experience. Finally interns were asked to sum up their experience. Here’s what a couple students wrote in their final entry:
The most memorable experience during my internship was getting the chance to see my first open heart surgery. I have always watched surgeries on television at home, but being able to see a surgery up close was really an eye opener. I then, at that moment, realized that my future is near and that this is something I could really do. It then appeared to me that in order to achieve this goal, or any goal, I have to work harder than anyone in order to be the best. In the end I have discovered that a career in the medical field is what I most likely will do. I have also made a goal for myself to research many other careers and specialties in the medical profession. (10th Grader, Veterans' Hospital)
I took a first step towards society by this internship experience. Even though I mostly did minor tasks, I still learned so many things in these days. It was the first time I actually tried to do something not 'studentish'. There were no excuses at all. Everybody takes their responsibility and does their best to finish their job well. The day before yesterday, I was confused a little bit while categorizing samples and made some mistakes. I put samples from different companies in the same box. It didn’t take long to realize how big a problem that created. Because of my mistake, workers had a hard time finding the samples they wanted. With the help of my supervisor, this situation was resolved but by this mistake, I realized the importance of responsibility. This internship provided me with one of the most valuable experiences in my life. I cannot wait to go out and seize my dream of being a top businessman. (11th Grader, International Manufacturing Company)
“Gently wafting a lavender essential oil, junior Mycah carefully chooses which scents to include in her soap mixture. Down the street, senior Soo Jin slices strawberries for her soon-to-be layer cake. Across the globe, sophomore Aaron assists in eye examinations on the beaches of St. Vincent. These are just a few of the endless opportunities for Delaware County Christian School students during J-Term.
DC’s J-Term courses go hand-in-hand with the ‘Unique Design’ program. In its second year, J-Term gives all high school students a choice of how they want to develop their God-given gifts during these two weeks. From baking to business, scrapbooking to stewardship, competition robotics to creative crafts, and internships to international trips, J-Term provides students and teachers with a life-altering change in routine.”
~Creative Writing by Brynn as part of Capturing J-Term course.
Video project by Maddie as part of Capturing J-Term course.
Studio Art was held under the direction of veteran art teacher, Linda Unger. Fifty-six students filled the art room during the 2-week J-Term course for either a morning or afternoon session. Students had the opportunity to work with a variety of mediums in the creative process. Lindsey, a sophomore art student, explained that this J-Term class changed her thoughts on art as she was encouraged to think deeper about what she was about to draw or paint or sculpt before she began the project. "Mrs. Unger encouraged us to use more of our mind than our hand.” said Lindsey.
For Unger, the three-hour time slot allowed students to stay focused with few distractions. "The students accomplished amazing things! It gave me the opportunity for more individual instruction - it was a tremendous blessing!”
Unger is planning a J-Term Showcase in the upcoming weeks where projects from various classes including Studio Art, Woodworking, and Aromatherapy along with picture boards displaying photographs of various trips will be showcased around campus.
J-Term is a unique and creative opportunity for high school students at Delaware County Christian School to explore their gifts, talents, abilities, and passions for the sake of God’s glory. Supplementing the annual two semesters of traditional education, J-Term (two weeks in January) provides in-depth, experiential learning in a student’s particular area of interest. DC provides J-Term as an integral component in the educational program to help students identify, understand, and apply their God-given unique design for optimum achievement in order to impact the world through Biblical thought and action
Engaged in God’s world, students exercise their personal resources (talents, academic knowledge, skills, interests, etc.) for the benefit of their community and the Kingdom of God. The experience may influence a career choice, college major or interest in further mission work. It enables students to mix with new friends who might not be in their other classes, sports, clubs or grade level. It both creates community and takes our community out into the world. J-Term strengthens relationships with faculty, parents, and youth ministry leaders in a setting other than the traditional classroom.
This year DC has over 300 high school students involved in many different J-Term experiences. Students chose from over 30 classes which ranged from Screenwriting Basics to Awesome Auditions; from Mentoring Elementary Children in Robotics to Introduction to Medicine and Health Care; from Principles and Problems of Coaching to Worship Leader Workshop; and many more! Check out this year’s course offerings at www.dccs.org/j-term. Over 50 students are currently involved in Internships. Over 30 students are studying abroad in England/France, Israel, and Costa Rica. And DC students are involved in mission work in Reading, Chester, Philadelphia (PA) as well as The Dominican Republic and Mozambique! Praise God for His provision for our students at DC! May the opportunities and experiences our students have in J-Term 2012 be to His glory!