I am incredibly impressed with Career and Technical Educators. Those of us of certain age remember them as “shop” teachers. Later versions were “vocational” educators.
Many of these men and women enjoyed successful careers and then decided they would like to pass on their skills and experience to the next generation. They became teachers.
Career and Technical Educators don’t always come from college programs. Teachers in areas of skilled and technical sciences, for example, transition from business to education years after they left schooling behind and went to work. It’s not easy.
Most non-educators, though, don’t understand what they had to go through to make that transition.
First these folks gave up a job, in most cases, where they were successful. They earned 50, 60, 70,000 dollars a year or more and like all of us carried a mortgage, car loan, credit card debt and other obligations. They left that for a teaching job and a salary that began by paying them first year teacher wages… sometimes as low as 29-30,000 dollars a year. The debts didn’t go away. The obligations didn’t vanish.
Second, they had to earn teaching credentials… and that costs money and time. Several thousand dollars and nights and weekends on a college campus somewhere for a couple of years.
Third, family obligations slip as concentration on the career increases.
And they have to do all of this while they teach several classes every day, prepare lessons, grade papers, and do all the required paperwork. And the Southern Regional Education Board says most go into their classroom with little to no preparation.
So next time you envision a teacher, particularly a career and technical education teacher, avoid the temptation to think “anybody can do that.” Anybody can’t. Only very special people.
If you’re looking for a collaborative project with a visual end product, here’s another new Web 2.0 resource to try. NOTA lets users create an interactive digital poster that includes a variety of resources, including text, photos, clipart, maps, links, and more. There’s even a message board function, though it seems to be in beta mode.
Washington, DC instructional technology specialist Mark Brumley posted a very nice three-minute tutorial on the HP Teacher Exchange, and the user interface is really pretty self-explanatory once you understand the basics that he covers. You have to create a user account, but are up and running after you complete that quick process. I was able to create the following QTL Poster as a test in just about 15 minutes.
If you have an appropriate project, I highly recommend giving NOTA a try.
A participant in one of our recent ExplorNet workshops on Multimedia and Webpage Design gave us a pleasant surprise when she told us she had a prior history with our programs. Gail Thompson teaches Business Education now at Raleigh’s Athens Drive High School. But back in 2006 and 2007, she was a teacher at Dillard Middle School in Wayne County when the school implemented the QTL Foundations program. She told us she still uses the concepts she learned in QTL almost every day. Continue reading
(RALEIGH) – What good is technology if it sits on a shelf? That’s been a persistent question for administrators juggling budgets and deciding whether interactive tools are worth the price. Amid budget cuts and belt tightening, no one wants to spend precious dollars on tools that aren’t effective. But instructional leaders are desperately looking for solutions that help teachers manage and effectively teacher larger and ever more diverse groups of students. Student response systems, or clickers, are one such tool, when they’re used purposefully to increase engagement and assess student understanding. Continue reading
One-on-one teacher coaching plays an ever larger role in our efforts at The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning. The reflective approach our expert coaches use has a two-fold benefit: it trains teachers to examine and improve their own classroom practices, and does so without putting them on the defensive. Continue reading
Looking for ways to engage your students and motivate them to be self-directed learners? Here is the second of five installments of surefire tips! This time we focus on Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences and find out “WHAT KIND OF ‘SMART’ ARE YOU (AND YOUR STUDENTS)?
WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT HOW KIDS PREFER TO LEARN?
Dr. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences has strong implications for how our students will develop into adults, get jobs and support families. Many adults find themselves in jobs that do not make optimal use of their most highly developed intelligences – for example, the highly bodily-kinesthetic individual who is stuck in a linguistic or logical desk job when he or she would be much happier in a job where they could move around, such as a recreational leader, a forest ranger, or physical therapist.
The theory of multiple intelligences gives adults a whole new way to look at their lives, examining potentials that they left behind in their childhood (such as a love for art or drama) but now have the opportunity to develop through courses, hobbies, or other programs of self-development. Continue reading
QTL Senior Instructional Specialist
Recently a colleague gave me a piece of paper with what looks like a paper doll with a backpack on it. This paper doll student is covered with little text boxes containing attributes like ‘literate consumer of media’, ‘multi-lingual’, ‘capable technology user’, ‘critical thinker’, ‘strong team contributor’, and on and on…17 in all. She explained that the image represented the characteristics a present-day kindergartner should possess by the time they graduate from high school. Hmmm…interesting.
I immediately asked myself, “Do I possess these 17 characteristics?” Continue reading