A Summer of Opportunity
The end of the school year can bring the beginning of many things: summer camps, summer trips, and summer jobs are just a few things that come with the warm weather. However, some students are pursuing employment options that go far beyond your typical summer job. Kettle Moraine Summer Academy has been offering positions as teaching assistants to high school students since its beginning. I recently took this opportunity, and decided to do some research on the program, since only a small portion of the high school population knows of this unique job opening.
Rather than working behind a counter for hours at a time, teaching at Summer Academy can give the same amount of work hours, but leave enough time for students to enjoy their months off. “Outside of high school and college students, not many people would be interested in working a job for just six weeks, so having the availability of students is a huge benefit for Summer Academy staffing,” says Heather Morgan, a member of the Summer Academy administration. Students on staff will begin work at 7:45am, and finish at 12:45pm. While they will have to wake up earlier, they will already be done working by lunch, which leaves plenty of time to hang out with friends or enjoy the summer.
“Most of the classes we offer are interactive and interesting, which makes the whole experience enjoyable,” Morgan explains. High school students can teach any class that needs help. When interviewed, students are asked their interests to determine where they’d enjoy teaching most. After registration is available online long enough to see which classes are full and need extra assistance, these student teachers are placed where they are needed in classrooms.
Students who take part in Summer Academy gain more than an income and experience. They also develop a new maturity and sense of responsibility. Morgan tells us that one of her favorite parts of the job is watching the growth of the high school students. She states, “It is only a six week program, but the relationships that are built between [high schoolers and students] can be huge in that amount of time.”
High school students have always been able to be a part of Summer Academy, (as long as they were old enough to retain a work permit) but Morgan has been able to see the program grow, “The biggest development would be the amount of students that apply for positions. My first year we were able to hire all high school students that applied, but now we were only able to hire Juniors and Seniors,” Morgan said. “The number of applicants is almost four times as much as my first year. The return rate of students each summer is getting higher as well, which I think speaks volumes about the program.”
This is a part-time job like no other, and I’m glad that I came across this opportunity before it was too late. I would encourage other high school students to take this opportunity next summer, not only for the schedule that will still leave you plenty of free time, but also for the experience that won’t be found anywhere else.