I did my community field experience at Spectrum alternate school in Vancouver, which consisted of about 60 students and 9 staff members. It was enlightening to work with at risk students considering that I was once in a similar situation as them. At times, it was almost like being back in high school with my buddies, but with different faces. This is a very relaxed school; the main philosophy is to get the students to attend, because if they don’t show up, they can’t learn anything.
I spent all of my mornings in the home economics room, the first block was baking and the second and third blocks were for preparing and cooking lunch for the students and staff. For this writing I want to set aside the baking block, and concentrate on the second and third blocks. During the second block, there were about 4-6 students who regularly attended, they would begin all the prep and cooking. One student would make some cookies for dessert, another would make 10 sandwiches, one student on the soup and the other two would start on the main dish. By the third block, the dessert would be done, sandwiches made, and the soup is slowly simmering. The main dish would usually still be in the process of cooking. During this block, the number of students would drop to 2 or 3. This is what they work with every day and their food is fantastic, very simple like marinated pork and veg on rice, but absolutely delicious. I have sampled food from a few different high school cafeterias and spectrum has been the most consistent by far. I can cook very well and have produced really nice food on my practicum, but seeing their operation and sampling their food makes me rethink my approach to the cafeteria menu. My food is higher end and delicious, but it also cost more to produce, there food is simple and inexpensive and taste fantastic as well. I thought I had it all figured out, but now I will have to rethink my entire approach and maybe come up with a combination of the two.