Real World Seminar Strives to Complete Traditional Activities Amid COVID Challenges

By: Griffin Anderson, Contributing Writer

Veteran educator Jill Angell developed the Real World Seminar class a few years ago at Centralia High School. Angell remains the teacher of this popular class. Students learn many real-world skills in this course, ranging from sewing and embroidery to cooking and car care. 

In the past, Angell has hosted a variety of guest speakers in her classroom to talk about various topics, including banking, debit and credit cards, insurance, scholarships and taxes. However, due to current COVID-19 guidelines, that has had to look a  bit different this year. 

We have not had anyone come in person except teachers/administrators that are already in the building.  We have done Zoom meetings with several of the speakers,” said Angell. 

Angell enjoys teaching the class and hopes that it helps students when they enter adulthood.

“I love it that the students are learning skills that will help them as adults.  I also really enjoy activities when the students realize the value of what they are learning,” she said. 

The class members recently participated in a conflict/resolution activity. CHS senior Christina Gronefeld is one of Angell’s students, and she enjoyed this project.

CHS senior Christina Gronefeld learns some car care from Jimmy Gesling, Mrs. Angell’s son-in-law.

“I felt that the conflict/resolution activity was really good for me because it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am a pretty quiet and shy person, so conflict/resolution is nerve-racking at times! One thing I learned during this activity is the importance of being direct when confronting someone, rather than ‘beating around the bush.’” Gronefeld also learned that she must remain calm in this type of situation.

Angell thinks that some of the most important life skills her students learn in this class include basic cooking skills, basic car care, budgeting and taking care of personal finances. 

Gronefeld agrees with Angell. She said, “I found a lot of the paperwork skills beneficial, such as learning how to file taxes, budget, fill out job applications and medical forms, as well as learning about insurance. They’re not the most exciting topics, but everyone needs to know them. Making phone calls is also beneficial!”

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