York Family and Consumer Science Department offers real-world experience

January 27, 2022

Food & Restaurant management student Wes Krissinger serves customers at the La Brigade restaurant. Photo courtesy of @LaBrigadeYork on Twitter.

Food & Restaurant management student Wes Krissinger serves customers at the La Brigade restaurant. Photo courtesy of @LaBrigadeYork on Twitter.

As students begin to make college decisions, due to their limited experience in the adult world, future plans are up in the air. Committing to a major at such a young age is often very overwhelming for students. Classes like Food & Restaurant Management and Invite to Teach allow students to get hands-on experience in the career path they plan on going into.

One course that allows students to go straight into the workforce is Food & Restaurant Management. They have a unit called ServSafe that prepares students. The unit teaches students about safety and sanitation in the restaurant industry.

Senior Ethan Soltys leads a music lesson for students at Bryan Middle School. Photo courtesy of @collabwithcrist on Instagram

“Throughout the year you work on a study guide for it and towards the end of the semester you take a big final to get two different types of certificates,” senior Abby Luehring said. “There’s a food handlers certificate, which is only a year or two, and a manager certificate. After you take the big test you have to get a 75% or higher in order to get the manager certificate and it lasts five years.”

This class allows students to graduate high school and go right into the workforce. It prepares students for what they need to be successful in the restaurant industry. They host luncheons where students get to practice what it’s like to run a restaurant with students acting as waiters, hosts and bussers.

“I think it’s one of the most beneficial, real-experience classes at York,” senior Wes Krissinger said. “Being able to have insight into the restaurant industry, while also learning a lot about cooking, as well as the benefits from the class.”

The class gives students an opportunity to collaborate with classmates in a new way. The connections formed in classes like these allow for students to grow and learn together. These connections allow students to learn how to collaborate seamlessly and effectively.

“There’s also a lot of freedom in the class as well,” Krissinger said. “Everyone in the class works so collaboratively and the relationships of the students in the class are way closer than any other classroom experience I’ve been in.”

While these classes are helping students learn about their passions, it is also helping them grow as humans. These classes put students in situations that will help them navigate through life. It teaches them important life skills through experience and allows them to overcome obstacles at a young age.

“When you serve at La Brigade, you get to talk to all the customers and it’s helped me with talking to people,” senior Kyra Szczepanek said. “I get to interact with students, parents and teachers and it’s a great experience.”

Seniors Kyra Szczepanek and Emily Doering pose with the food made for the La Brigade Luncheon. Photo courtesy of @LaBrigadeYork on Twitter.

These interactions give students a chance to get out of a normal classroom environment and practice real-world skills. This furthers the benefits that the class already has by letting students run the whole thing.

“The cooking aspect is great for creativity,” Szczepanek said. “Students get to design the luncheons to their liking. We also have a commercial kitchen with everything an aspiring cook may need to hone their skills.”

Students at La Brigade benefit greatly from the class. The FCS department as a whole is dedicated to giving students the opportunity to experience what they are learning about in class. Invite to Teach is another course that is committed to teaching students through experiences. It allows students wanting to be teachers to learn about the field at a young age. These experiences help students commit to a future plan and get to know the field before they even enter it.

“I want to become a band director,” senior Ethan Soltys said. “I definitely think this class is beneficial and it’s something really unique York has. The ability to go into a classroom as a senior and go right into teaching is so beneficial. You learn so much from teachers who are really experienced.”

The experience of going into a classroom and actually teaching at a young age shows the Family & Consumer Science department’s dedication to giving students real-world experience in a high school setting.

“Usually, you don’t go into the classrooms until your last semester of college for student teaching’” Soltys said. “Invite to Teach really helps you get ahead of how to be a good teacher. The environment of the class is great. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed and everyone’s friends with each other. The class is such a blast.”

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