Jeff Ciskowski spent three summers working in the Joseph Baldwin Academy (JBA). This academy offers three week courses for students what have just completed 7th, 8th, or 9th grades. Jeff was a preceptor for a college algebra course in 2015, and in 2016 he was a preceptor for a computer programming course and for a cryptography course. During the summer of 2017, Jeff was the Health Director for the academy.
How did you find out about it and what was the application process like?
I knew about JBA going into Truman because it was a summer camp that my sister went to when she was young. I never really put thought into working at JBA until I was taking my education classes and they suggested it as a summer job for future teachers. To apply I had to pick a class that I wanted to work, then contact the teacher to get an application form. After a Skype interview with him, he sent me an application which I filled out and took to the JBA office. There I had to sign up for an interview date to meet with the director of JBA. I interviewed with Dan Clark and Kevin Minch and they asked a series of questions relating to education and emergency situations.
My second year into JBA was much different. I chose to work different classes and I got an application easily from one of them. I turned in the application and signed up for an interview. This time I interviewed with Rachel Brown and Jared Young. They asked questions very different from the first interview. Most of them relating to “Why would we want you back on our staff?” I heard back a few weeks later saying that I got the job.
What sorts of things did you do in your job?
As a preceptor my job in class was to both assist the professor in answering questions during solo work/study time and maintain order in the classroom if the group started getting rowdy. Outside of class our job was much more broad. We were responsible for leading activities, monitoring the dorm and campus during free times, and mostly making sure that the kids had a great time.
As Health Director my job was much different. During any free time the kids had, it was my job to sit in the med room and make sure the students took their required medications as well as assist any kids that had gotten injured. While the kids were in class I was responsible for contacting parents with any medical issues and setting up doctors appointments. My job was probably the most front loaded job of any of the Pro Staff positions. In the beginning I had to make excel sheets and input all the data from every kids medical sheet. This took several hours a day and took most of my free time during the preceptor training. In my free time while the kids were in class or at in activity I would usually help the activities directors prepare for activities because they always had a lot to do.
How did you benefit from this experience?
I think JBA was a great job for many things. As a preceptor it definitely helps prepare you to become a teacher. You are working with kids all day and helping assist them in the classroom. As Health Director I wouldn’t say it helped as much for people aspiring to be teachers, but it was great in terms of a customer service position and working with others. I had to call parents and doctors frequently, and keep a level head while dealing with medical situations. There were a lot of keeping records of what each child got and when. It was a great job for leaning organizational skills.
In the end I think that JBA was a great job. If it weren’t for having a job now that I work in the summers I would love to have continued working at JBA on Pro Staff. It is a great group of people and while you’re there you barely think of it as being a job, it’s almost a summer camp for you too.