Katie Huff and Jody Routon teach the Transition class at Ray-Pec High School. The hands-on class gives students experience in different fields to help prepare them for jobs in the future.
The students also run Chewy’s Market, which is located in the 300 hallway of Ray-Pec High School and is open during 5th block and all lunch shifts. Chewy’s Market is a concession stand area that also makes deliveries to classrooms. The students sell snack and drink items and make change. They also track inventory.
The students also do other tasks in the school, such as restocking soda machines and stocking shelves in the Panther closet. Another responsibility the students have is delivering small birthday gifts to staff. In order to complete these tasks faster and more efficiently, the students work in groups of four to five students. The groups are rotated frequently so every student gets a chance to learn and improve upon all skills the class covers.
In addition to offering experiences at school, the Transition class helps students with job skills outside of the classroom setting, giving them opportunities to get assisted work experience in the real world. The teachers of the class utilize a practice called generalization, which is when one learns a skill in a certain environment, and then is able to apply it in every situation where it’s needed. The real world experience provided by the class helps the students to gain skills they need to be successful in a workplace environment.
In interviews, multiple students enrolled in the course said that they have gained experience they will use in the future from what they have done in class. This is what the Lead Transition teacher, Katie Huff, strives for. When asked why she decided to go into this profession, she said, “When I was in high school, I got to participate in a peer partnership program and the students that I assisted were similar to the students I teach now. That's what made me want to teach life and independent living skills to students.”
Huff has worked for the district for a total of 14 years, and has made a difference in the lives of many students she has come in contact with. In the picture, Sophomore Cole Martin, left, works with Huff to fill a bag in the Panther Closet.
(Article and photo by Ella Gawf)