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Archive for February 13th, 2013

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Although I am not a television junkie, there is one show that I love to take the time to sit and take it in. That is the ‘reality’ program “Undercover Boss”.

As a skeptic, I recognize that it is a television program, and it is, therefore, at least somewhat scripted. That said, I love the premise of an owner of a company doing the work of the peons in his company. It provides an opportunity to live out the words of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Harper Lee),

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

I like that!

4f9e4a96bd48c9c55051d941f58006e2Often I think of “Undercover Boss” when I take a student out on their Work Experience blocks.

The opportunity of this course is that students who are not particularly strong academically, yet who do not ‘fit’ in an apprenticeship program, can participate in a variety of work experiences to provide exposure to different types of work, workplaces, and to build their resumes.

I love facilitating this task!

In my role as facilitator of this course, I get to work alongside of my student, in their appointed work experience placements. In this, I get to be their not-so-undercover boss.

b1f93450af5b928c39f87951bd6b2b0fLike the bosses on the television program, I get to know so much more about my student by working with them than I ever do working in a classroom or across a desk. In a retail store, a greenhouse, a pet shelter, etc. my student opens up their thoughts, their heart, their life to me, knowing that I have nowhere else to go, and nothing else to do. In these instances I get to be that allusive fly on the wall.

It is here, in these work experiences, that I get to do what I am not paid to do … “climb into his/her skin and walk around in it.”

And, like the bosses on the television program, knowing the heart and experiences of my ’employee’ (student) means that I also have the opportunity to feed into their life in practical ways … at the very least (hum, maybe greatest) of which is knowing what to pray when I bring their needs to God.

Without working alongside of the students, I would not have opportunity to know them, and to feed into their lives.

Without working alongside of them, I would not have opportunity to teach them through modeling the way to do things … whether it is how to fill a pot with dirt or a pie crust with fruit filling … or how to fill a heart with gratitude for the little things in life.

Working side-by-side … that is the best way to teach … and in doing so, like the bosses on T.V., the ‘boss’ gets to learn something from the employee/student too.

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