Summer learning: connecting academics with the real world
Summer learning is a popular topic during the warm months. Educators and parents across the United States talk each year about the importance of students maintaining their knowledge during summer break in order to make progress in the following school year. There's plenty of research that shows that students' skills erode during long vacations (here is one example from the National Summer Learning Association). At the same time, it is important to allow students to enjoy the opportunity to recharge and learn other important skills that are less accessible in the classroom, such as starting a small business or getting a job. The Academies of Nashville encourage all students to use the summer break to explore their interests and deepen their understanding of professions they want to pursue. Job shadowing is a great way to spend time with professional who work in a particular field and learn more about what it takes to succeed in that industry or career. For more advanced students, an internship is an opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge of an industry, gain valuable experience working in that industry, and build relationships with working professionals to start a career. Summer learning can take many forms, and learning about a career through hands-on learning and real-world experience can be a boost that jumpstarts your professional goals.