Ironing, a Valuable Life Skill for Students

Teaching students the technical skills they’ll need to secure good jobs and advance in their careers is one thing, but instructor Jason Poniatowski, who teaches the Computer Information Systems and Medical Administrative Assistant (CISMAA) program at the Center for Career Services, believes that good old-fashioned life skills are just as important.

During a recent class, Mr. Poniatowski whipped out an ironing board and iron and began to teach the class this most basic of skills.

Preparing for the workplace is regular part of the Office Skills curriculum. The lesson on how to iron was introduced by Mr. Poniatowski during a discussion about the positive habits that one should know in order to be successful in life.

 When Mr. Poniatowski discovered that only 25 percent of the class did their own laundry, he followed up by asking if they knew how to iron a shirt.

“Only one student had ever even attempted to iron a shirt,” added Mr. Poniatowski, “but even that student would not fully commit to ‘knowing’ how to iron.”

Mr. Poniatowski discussed the use of dry cleaning with them, but reiterated the importance of knowing how to iron and prepare clothing at short notice, such as for a job interview or other similar situation.

 “The students enjoyed the activity and asked for additional practice, so we extended the lesson,” he said.

The class also had a surprise visit from Center Director Dahlia Jackson, whose previous professional background in the textiles/fashion industry allowed her to share insights on proper ironing technique.

“Now that my students are able to iron, they can prepare themselves and others for professional situations that will require business attire and social occasions that call for such attire,” said Mr. Poniatowski.