Travel Training Teaches Valuable Life Skills
Ozark High School sophomore Noah Estes said he always looks forward to the travel training trips — partly because he gets to leave school for a field trip, but also because he knows he is learning valuable life skills.
“We’re learning how to navigate the neighborhoods and how to walk out into the world,” he said. “It’s a good program we have here.”
Noah is one of a handful of Ozark High School and Junior High students in functional life skills class who traveled to Battlefield Mall in Springfield Dec. 13 to practice reading a map, budgeting and money skills.
The purpose of the travel training, which also allows students to visit places such as the grocery store, City Utilities Transit Center and Missouri State University campus, is to help students become more independent and confident when they travel in the community.
“This teaches safety in a variety of ways and prepares students for life beyond our school,” OHS special education teacher Erin McElroy said. “Students become experts at traveling on the bus and in the community, and it gives them a leg up for college or work life. By the time we are done with these students, they are confident travelers and know the importance of personal responsibility.”
Tamara Jackson, OJH special education teacher, said there are often situations that arise in the real world and it’s important to ensure students are prepared to face those situations.
“There are problems that you can’t learn in the classroom, that you don’t realize until you’re out in the community and you see it,” she said. “We want to train students and fix these problems now to make them more safe and able to travel as independently as possible.”