Experience based courses shift to portfolio building


Provided by Amy Parker

As of Aug. 25, an official update from the DFW Hospital Council stated that the entire North Texas region is facing a shortage of staffed pediatric ICU beds. Renee Richmond, retired nurse, and mother of 3 FISD students, has been directly impacted by the limited bed space in hospitals.

Ana Cuen Alcelay, Guest Contributor

Some students have prepared to get into certain CTE work-based classes since their freshman year. From pre-requisites to lengthy applications, many hope to get exposure to the field they want to work in. 

However, for those that took part in classes such as Health Science 2 Clinicals and Practicum in Teaching this year, their hands-on learning was cut short due the COVID-19 outbreak. Students in Health Science 2 have taken advantage of these times to work on their online portfolios for the future. 

“Our students and the instructors have transitioned without skipping a beat, ” Health Science 2 instructor Sherri Bono said. “The students have all completed their digital Bulb portfolios. They all have a digital portfolio that includes resumes, letters of introduction, certifications, volunteer hours, continuing education and extracurricular activities and awards. Students have created a college essay and practiced interview questions. This is an application the students can keep for life and utilize for college applications or jobs.”

Bono believes this is a good opportunity for her students to put into practice some of their CNA-required skills. 

“Students are not missing out on opportunities or learning,” she said. “They understand the importance of not physically going to our clinical sites at this time. The importance of their first skill learned, hand washing, has a whole new level of importance and understanding of the meticulous way it must be done.” 

Provided by Zoey Clark
Part of the district’s Practicum in Education

Even though this opportunity may be helpful in the future, students like junior Megan Gi who worked all year to become a CNA miss the patient experience.

“I think interacting with patients and the care team is definitely something I miss the most about clinical sites,” Gi said. “I really liked learning about a patient’s different background and getting to know them as a person.”

For those in Practicum in Educational Practices like assistant teacher junior Zoey Clark, their class revolved around interacting with elementary schoolers. 

“The thing I definitely miss the most is just getting to see my students and interacting with them,” Clark said. “I miss their hugs and silly conversations and also getting to see other kids around the school, not just my class.”

As Health Science 2 students rotate through different departments, Gi was hoping to assist in the labor and delivery department before the year ended. 

“One of my goals in the class I didn’t get to accomplish was helping out or observing a child birth,” Gi said. “I never got the opportunity to shadow in women’s services, which is really disappointing.”

This has also been the reality for students like Clark, who will not be able to finish out the year with her students, or attend her class’ end-of-year banquet.

Provided by Zoey Clark
As part of Practicum in Educational Practices Clark is able to gain hands-on experience by teaching and working with elementary school students.

“One thing we work hard for is our banquet at the end of the year where we showcase all of our lesson plans and things we created and we get to thank our mentor etc but it has been cancelled,” she said. “Also, just getting to finish out the year with this class because I’ve seen them grow so much and although we can see them online it’s just not the same.”

Frisco ISD’s switch to eLearning abruptly ended many internship-like classes, but students are still appreciative for the exposure they gained. 

“Although it was cut short, the opportunity to be a student teacher was/ has been awesome,” she said. “It has helped me really get a feel of what it means to have class and teach lessons and take grades. I’ve grown a lot being comfortable in front of not only the classroom but even the whole grade which will be super helpful in my future.”