Young people’s limited work experience can make it difficult to talk to them about the importance work ethic in the workplace. But one school district found a way to provide a common language of employability skills for educators and students through a work ethic curriculum which has resulting in positive outcomes for their students.

Chris Trottier, Director of School to Work Opportunities, in the Elkhorn Area School District in Wisconsin, has used Bring Your ‘A’ Game to great effect. Chris’s nearly three decades of experience in education informed his decision to implement Bring Your ‘A’ Game as a form of career-connected learning in his district. “We wanted to provide them intensified, intentional employability skill development and career development,” said Chris. He found Bring Your ‘A’ Game to be a “quality-rich employability skills curriculum” that was a “very well packaged, easy fit for our district.”

Chris and his colleagues have found that the Bring Your ‘A’ Game curriculum provides “a common language around employability skills” that allows students and teachers to better understand each other. One challenge that many educators face is a communication gap with students who have had limited, if any, experience with employment. The curriculum helps explain concepts that may seem alien to younger students and shows them the relevance of work ethic skills in their lives and futures.

Chris has found that the Bring Your ‘A’ Game curriculum is also adaptable enough to reach a diverse audience. He notes that “the curriculum is set up to meet the needs of all learners,” and that it provides “flexible options to deliver the curriculum.” He notes that the lessons are presented at an accessible reading level. This allows students to easily digest the material, without getting bogged down in jargon or complicated research. Rather, they are able to understand the lessons and practice applying them immediately.

Educators in Elkhorn gave their students extra incentive to demonstrate work ethic. Every week, they would examine one of the work ethic skills presented in the curriculum (attitude, attendance, appearance, ambition, acceptance, appreciation, and accountability). Any student who chose to model that skill during the week received a certificate and was acknowledged on social media. This creative pedagogical strategy helped students learn and practice work ethic, while also seeing how it can benefit them.

Chris Trottier and the other amazing educators in the Elkhorn School District have taken full advantage of the Bring Your ‘A’ Game curriculum and are observing positive outcomes for their students. At The Center for Work Ethic Development, these success stories are the most gratifying part of our work. We believe in the power of these fundamental workplace skills to create promising futures for young learners. Explore how Bring Your ‘A’ Game can benefit your school district by visiting