21st Century Learning

The Incredible Career and Technical Education Teacher

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.



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About QTL

The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning expands and supports high quality teaching and effective, supportive leadership. QTL Processes bring together technology, teamwork, student data and research-based instruction to create more engaging lesson design for greater student achievement.

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