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First Job Experience

Simulation of a realistic work site that is compatible with typical school schedules
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This unique and innovative program is based on the concept that there is no occupational training that can compare with authentic work experience. When involved in actual work tasks that require accountability, students can learn at an optimum level. First Job Experience simulates a realistic work site that is compatible with typical school schedules.

The program consists of two components: Students Working and Training (S.W.A.T.) and Target Skills. This program is perfect for School-to-Work classrooms, JPTA, and other vocational settings. It features a complete set of reproducibles that cover everything from Job Requests to Job Assignments. Detailed instructions that offer step-by-step guidelines for every aspect of the program make this a valuable and exciting experience for both teachers and students.


S.W.A.T. Module

This module presents a format for providing actual work experience in the classroom. Guidelines are given for in-house jobs (jobs students perform for the school) and outside jobs (jobs students perform for local employers). Students are held accountable for their work and must maintain realistic job performance levels. Teachers closely monitor students as they perform their tasks.

Most schools and training facilities have many tasks that can be performed by students. Selected tasks must meet the following criteria: little or no learning curve, quality of work can be monitored, and realistic deadlines (participants might work more slowly than typical adult employees).

Possible in-house jobs include: alphabetizing, cleaning, creating a class newsletter, doing errands, doing research, filing, hole punching, making photocopies, sorting mail, taking attendance, working on bulletin boards, and many more. These classroom jobs are a logical first step for students who are likely to experience difficulty in the workforce.

Target Skills Module.

This module consists of 36 Target Skill Guidelines with accompanying Discussion Starters for the teacher, and 36 Target Skill reproducibles for the student. One Target Skill is highlighted each day prior to students starting their classroom jobs. In doing this, students practice becoming quality employees.

Target Skills Contents

Keep Your Work Area Clean, Listen Carefully to Directions, Take Notes to Help You Remember, Keep Chatting to a Minimum, Remember that Your Dress is Your Signature, Be a Dependable Employee, and many more.

Each Target Skill reproducible features a simple, whimsical illustration, easy-to-read bulleted information, and a space for notes. Teacher guidelines includes discussion pointers and teaching suggestions for each of the 36 Target Skills.

The objectives of the first job experience program are the same, whether students confine their jobs to the classroom or expand into the community as volunteer or paid workers.

Objectives of the First Job Experience Program

  • Given a job on a regular basis, each participant will report for work and begin working on schedule.
  • Given instructions from a work supervisor, each participant will follow the supervisor's directives.
  • Given a specific task to perform, regardless of personal opinions and preferences, each participant will complete the task as requested.
  • Given confusing information while performing a task, each participant will ask questions of the supervisor to complete the task correctly.
  • Given a Target Skill, each participant will attempt to implement the skill while working.


  • Product Type: Binder
  • Number of Pages: 85 pages
  • Reproducible: Yes
  • Reading Level: 5.0+
  • Age Appropriate Level: Secondary, Adult Education
  • Copyright: 1998

About the Author

Ellen McPeek Glisan has an M.S. in learning disabilities and started teaching in a cross-categorical classroom in a small rural Northern Illinois junior-senior high school. Writing complete programs that had a clear purpose in the lives of her students became her passion. She has created an entire line of School-to-Work materials for both regular and special education classrooms for children and adults.

First Job Experience


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