From the Classroom Of…Jenna Gomer, Burnsville High School

Woman at laptop

As an educator, I see firsthand that many students lack encouraging adults in their lives or the opportunity to prepare themselves for life after high school. More and more, I see the need for mentorship and community engagement and know the positive impact it could have on our students.

But there are many hurdles and logistical details that keep me and other teachers from reaching out to people from the “real world” to get involved in the lives and education of our students.

Enter BestPrep, who has devoted to helping students learn about business, career, and financial literacy skills by eliminating the obstacles of connecting classrooms with their community. Thanks to its free programs and resources, I have been able to provide valuable “real world” education and mentorship to my students.

It’s been almost eight years since I requested my first classroom speaker with BestPrep. I began utilizing its organized and thorough process for connecting me to a topic and speaker suited for our specific needs in my AVID classes. I’ve been able to ensure my students learn about subjects including public speaking, money management, interviewing, and various career options. With each email and phone call I had with the BestPrep team, it became apparent that this organization was invested in our students.

Our students have also participated in BestPrep’s eMentors program. To this day, they rave that confiding in a mentor and touring their workplace was one of the most helpful experiences they had during high school. This “real world” experience increased their written communication skills and gave them a glimpse into their future beyond school. eMentors reminded them of their “why.” It’s easy to go through the “hoops” of high school, forgetting what you’re working towards. When that end goal becomes too far away or nonspecific, it can be easy to give up in the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Because of BestPrep’s eMentors program, our students had a reminder as to why they are working so hard each day.

This summer, I had the opportunity to attend BestPrep’s Technology Integration Workshop. The program brought in a variety of leaders in education and technology to help us integrate new ideas into our classroom. We left with connections and a unit plan, utilizing all that we had learned. This was by far one of the most useful professional development experiences I have been a part of.  

I’ve found myself encouraging my peers to take advantage of all that BestPrep has to offer. The BestPrep team’s desire to help our students see their “why” is apparent in every interaction. I am so grateful to have their support in the classroom. BestPrep is truly partnering with Burnsville High School to ensure all of our students have the ability to see beyond the classroom.

Educators can learn more about the Technology Integration Workshop and register online.