Brockton Public School Paraprofessionals Join the JET Program!
On June 12, JET staff welcomed its first cohort of 13 Brockton paraprofessionals. These paras had completed the JET onboarding processes of successful financial aid approval and college admissions. During the session, the cohort learned about the JET program components that provide ongoing support and individual mentoring to help sustain them in their multi-year journey to become a teacher. JET staff also fielded questions and concerns from the incoming participants. Following the JET introduction, we were joined by Human Resource Director and Assistant Director from the Brockton Public Schools. They spoke about the program operations from the district’s perspective. Hearing from staff members from within the district created an individualized environment specific to Brockton to welcome our new paras. They addressed points such as obtaining proof of employment for the PTP grant application, preparation for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and areas of teaching opportunity within the district.
Following introductions to JET from both the program and district perspective, JET staff presented the new participants with “Program and Participant Commitments”. The commitments list things that participants can expect from JET throughout their time with the program as well as things that JET expects from its participants. The list includes items such as participants being expected to attend mandatory meetings throughout the year, and JET provides its participants with guidance on the financial aid and college application processes, among others. The list of commitments is intended to set the stage and set expectations for paras entering the program.
As a way for our incoming cohort to get to know more about each other, JET staff engaged the group in two different ice breaker activities. Both activities were interactive and required the group to move around a little bit, but they each had different goals. The first ice breaker was meant to establish a sense of community among the cohort. It was designed to have the paras identify others in the group who had shared interests. The second ice breaker was a follow up to the introduction of our “Program and Participant Commitments”. The paras created a “web” across the room and between each other by stating their intentions or goals one by one for the upcoming year with JET. We heard so many great goals shared by our paras including “keeping good time management” and “staying committed”. Taking turns at sharing intentions was determined by tossing a ball of yarn to another participant while holding onto the end. By doing this, the room ended up in a web of yarn with all paras connected to each other. The ice breaker showed the group that they are all connected and can act as a member of each other’s support system during their time in the JET program.
We are excited to welcome the Brockton paras to JET!!