Last month we hosted a student from East Cooper Montessori Charter School for a week long internship. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share our love of dentistry. Aside from that, it was interesting to learn more about Montessori education. Throughout the week, Nina shadowed each team member to learn about and experience their role within the office. The day that her teacher, Ms. Berini, visited was a typical day in a dental office and Nina was able to give her a tour and demonstrate what she was learning while here. We think our patients enjoyed talking to Nina as much as we enjoyed having her as a new, if temporary, team member. Nina was a joy to be around and we hope she loved “working” here as much as we do!
After Nina left, we became more curious about the internship program at her school. The admissions director, Marie Scarboro, was kind enough to share with us the following information:
“Montessori’s vision for education encompasses meeting the internal needs of the students. As children become adolescents and begin to establish an independent identity many of their needs include interacting with adults, trying out different roles, and performing real and relevant work. One way the program at East Cooper Montessori Charter School meets these needs is by having students seek out and complete a one week internship at a place of business. This gives them independence as they try out new roles in a real work setting. They also have the opportunity to work with adults as supervisors, coworkers, and clients. Students learn different tasks and take on new responsibilities. Working for an entire week ensures that the work is real and relevant as opposed to shorter job shadowing opportunities where the students are likely to be given busy work or simply observe others working. Students generally come back from their internships with greater self-confidence, maturity and a clearer sense of the real world. What is also great is that the businesses that host the students realize what contributions young people have to make and those businesses benefit from the experience as well–both in terms of the work accomplished and the lessons gained. Its a win-win situation for everyone!”