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JanTerm at JRHS – Career and Soft Skills

What an outstanding learning center JRHS has been this January, under the banner of our “JanTerm”. In this program, we offer varied experiences designed to be both a little different than our regular classes and projects, but most specifically, homing in on key career and soft skills. In this post, I have given a brief summary of each one, as well as showing some of the outcomes of the experience, that will travel well with the student, into their next adventure.

Under the leadership of volunteer and benefactor Taewon Jin, the “Database” Project had an excellent program this year. These students learned first-hand experience with both Excel and SQL. While they were learning the program, Mr. Jin showed them a company data sheet featuring retail products, and included strings like where a product was made, its price, and its frequency of sales. As they gained new skills, the students made a data base of people in their own lives, and learned how to search and order the data. Mr. Jin brought graduate students with him from Korea University to act as tutors to the students. Therefore, in addition to the computer skills the students learned, they were experiencing communication in a multi-lingual world.

Another group of students participated in a Debate, based on real world issues and information. Mr. Knecth and Mr. Hannan led this project, focusing on the value and role of US foreign aid going to other countries of the world. Through this experience, I could see young minds being opened to the implications of US taxpayer money going to various countries of the world, some of them that have very different value systems than ours. In addition to the skills of rhetoric than flow from this project, students were enlightened to how complex the modern world is.

Mark Sohmer, from the Open Air Campaigners Ministry, led a team of students in a study and practice of evangelism. They studied biblical models and principles and watched various videos that show various methods of bringing the truths of the Gospel out to a group of people. This team finished the Jan Term by taking a jaunt to Boston for some first hand experience. I love how this project offers students biblical knowledge, as well as the opportunity to be courageous with the gospel.

And, lastly, we had a team of young lawyers go to town on the Mock Trial. Under the stellar leadership of Attorney Neil Nicholson and L3 Thomas Philbrick (MSU ‘20). From the NH Bar Association, we got a mock case to use in teaching students about the legal system, and in this case, as the members of the case. I saw these kids standing and delivering, thinking on their feet, and ultimately trying to persuade the Judge that their case is legitimate. Although the prosecution made their best run at a guilty verdict, the defense won the day, holding the alleged criminal’s actions in check.

There are numerous studies like this one that suggest the worker of tomorrow is going to have to have both hard and soft skills to be vibrant in the work force of 2025 and beyond. Communication, Collaboration, Adaptability, Creativity – just to name a few from the Top Ten. Jesse Remington High School is an apt training ground for these essential skills - way to go JanTerm Team!

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