Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rewards and Challenges

The numerous and extensive roles of guidance counselors allow them to see many different types of rewards. In general, I think that the reward comes from the success of the students. These successes may range from seeing a student with emotional and social issues attend classes consistently for one full week to seeing a former student graduate from college, or achieve success in his or her career. In addition, I believe that the size of the reward would be further defined by the size of the obstacle that they had to overcome and the bond with the student, staff, or faculty members that they helped. A greater obstacle will yield greater reward. By the same token, a stronger bond will yield a greater reward. I believe that the most challenging aspect of guidance counselor's career is how to successfully juggle all of their day to day responsibilities with students constantly coming to them needing assistance with their issues. I honestly don't see how they do it.

Changed Impressions

I think that my initial impression of the role and responsibilities of guidance counselors was accurate. I realize that they work hard and have many roles. I will say that I have learned of one additional role. I was not aware that they can also serve to assist students who are in financial need by connecting them with resources to meet those needs. With this being said, my impression of their role and responsibilities has not changed, however, I will say that I was not aware of how GA CTAE provided training for counselors. I think that this is great, and it provides counselors with even more tools to help guidance counselors guide students in the right direction.

Perceived Roles

Based on what I have seen during my 1 1/2 years of teaching in combination with personal experience from high school, I have concluded that guidance counselors wear many hats. They are responsible for counseling, as their titles suggest. Guidance counselors counsel students on personal as well as academic matters. During times of crisis, guidance counselors may also provide counseling to faculty and staff as well. Guidance counselors are responsible for creating schedules for students, and adjusting the schedules as necessary. Another role of the guidance counselor is that of a facilitator. They facilitate parent and teacher conferences and also facilitate the students' transition into college in numerous ways. Some of these ways include assisting students with career planning and completion of college applications. They even help provide scholarship opportunities to eligible students. Although I have already mentioned many roles, I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are also many other responsibilities placed upon guidance counselors.

Monday, February 25, 2013

"Rewards and Challenges"

Guidance Counselors are faced with many rewards and challenges in their professions.  I think through all of the ups and downs, the most rewarding thing for a guidance counselor is to  see the child that who had all of the odds stacked against him or her to graduate from high school,  go to college, graduate and have a successful career despite all of the challenges that they had to overcome. For a guidance counselor to see a student not use their situation as a hindrance but as a motivator to help push them to the next level and continue climbing without looking back.  That in itself has to be rewarding. 
 On the other hand, the most challenging thing for a guidance counselor is to see a child that has so much potential become a victim of his surroundings.  To see this student not believing in himself, and just give up because no one in his/her family has ever achieved anything so why should they be the first.  This defeatist attitude would be the most challenging thing for the counselor to overcome, because this would be seen as a handout and the child would not be willing to accept this act of kindness, especially since no one has ever cared for them without wanting anything in return.
The career of a guidance counselor is filled with many rewards and challenges, but in the end I am sure the Rewards definitely out way the Challenges.

"Changed Impressions"

Guidance Counselors wear many hats. From the beginning of their profession, a guidance counselor's focus has always been in the best interest of the child.  Through the progression of time, their responsibilities and focus grew from making sure work environments were safe for children to making sure all aspects of the child developmental process from home life through peer social interactions and college and career preparations are in order.  The guidance counselor has to make sure that they are aware of the latest trends that can affect a child's growth in the class room as well as any changes that may occur in that child's home environment that may keep the child from excelling.  The guidance counselor in most cases may be the first line of defense or offense for some students.  Therefore, the educational requirements for the counselor has psychology courses that help them recognize things/characteristic changes that may come when a child is faced with challenging circumstances in their lives.

Rewards and Challenges

Guidance Counselors have a major responsibility to the student body that can be challenging at times. They are helping the students to recognize their self identity. Between the years of middle school to high school, kids are trying to find out who they are and how they belong. As the students get older, they take on more of family issues which in return can be brought to school. The counselors are faced with tryin to get them to cope with life decisions, but seperating it from their acadmics. Sometimes it hard to focus as adults, and how today's society is, children are faced with more responsiblity than ever before. Another challenge is peer pressure and trying to belong to the "in crowd". This situation can make or break a person of any magnitude. It seems to come as a challenge for the counselors because they have to create various counseling strategies that are designed to help the young people deal with all of the pressure that their adolescent years comes with. Although there are challenges, counselors also seek rewards in dealing with the students on a day to day basis. Watching a student grow and excel academically can touch anyone's heart. Because guidance counselors aren't teachers nor administrators, they serve as a buffer before receiving discplinary action resulting in suspension or getting expelled from school. Helping a student that has/had a discipline problem so that it doesn't reach that plateau is also a great feeling. Sometimes having the right thing to say can change that student's decision making process within a second. I didn't realize that guidance counselors were faced with so much adversity. They are an intricate part to the student body and without them, I think the schools would be lost. They are just as vital as teachers and administrators are to education.

Rewards and Challenges

I think the most rewarding thing for guidance counselors would be to see a well adjusted graduate that is the product of the institution they serve. Whether an individual, is an honors student, college bound or has entered the workforce out of high school is not as important as knowing that graduate can sustain, in spite of any pitfalls that life may provide. Knowing that you have given a student your best and that student then graduates and can manage his/her adult life independently, seems to be a high point for a guidance counselor. In contrast I think that the challenges come with not being able to address or fully understand some negative stimuli that is impacting a students learning experience. I can see this challenge becoming an even larger obstacle, when a counsleor spends countless hours days and many times years with some of the same students, with no positive outcomes. Sometimes in the world of education, with societal changes and the demands of the immmediate community a counselor may have his/her work cut out for them. Some challenges may even come from the understanding or lack thereof, of a students home environment and how it can quickly change. Lastly, I see one of the larger challenges as having the ability to reconcile what is best for the student and not what our own morals and values will say about that student's background, race, socio-econmic status, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

Changed Impressions

After reading the article about the History of Guidance and Counseling, I have gained an understanding of the approach to holistically address the issues that could potentially be negative for learning, mental growth and career performance. It makes sense to understand the human mind in order to help a person become well and productive. Unlike physical medicine, I learned that from reading this article, there seemed to be a push for the understanding of a person's mental well being. Looking at the advancements and modifications through time, there has been more weight given to studies that focus around this very thing. As a teacher, or even as an individual that gets up and goes to work everyday, I take for granted my mental well being. How can I be an imapactful teacher, if I am not working at 100%? Reading this article made me realize that capacity has nothing to do with knowledge, credentials or certifications, but how you function and what types of stimuli in your environment affect those functions. In regard to guidance counselors and their roles, I see the role being a permanent, but changing one. It will be necessary because human growth is an on-going thing, but the role will change due to the nature and demands of society.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rewards and Challenges

I think the most rewarding for guidance counselor would be to working with students, teachers, parents, community members, local business leaders, and administrators. It would also be rewarding to see young teens transform into young productive adult in the community. On the path to success there are challening issues that arise from time to time. Some issues I think counselor would have are dealing with teachers relationship toward counselling and students being open to be counseled. They would have to deal with thw new trend of globlization of families and student moving across borders. It would be challenging to deal with system changes and guidelines of the school system.

Changed Impressions

My views of a school counseling did not change, but i did get a better understanding of what counselors job. My views of school counseling were best matched to the secondary school counselor. The secondary school of counselor helps student make that transition from middle school to high school and from high school to becoming a productive adult in the real world. On this journey counselor are helping student find who they are, what they do well, and the path to graduation. Counselor's also deal with students experimental behaviors with sex, alcohol and drugs. They are to provide guidance in making concrete and compound descisions. Counselor's also deals with testing(SAT or ACT), college admission, earning college scholarship, and financial aid application.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Changed Impressions

My view of what a guidance counselor is didn't necessarily changed. I just didn't realize there was more to one side to it. It's ironic that what I thought a guidance counselor was, actually matched up with what a secondary counselor was. I wasn't aware that the primary counselor went about counseling the students in a different way. In elementary schools, counselors spend their time with children individually, in small groups, or in classrooms. According to, additional duties might include developing classroom management plans or behavior plans for individual students, such as conducting Student Study Teams(SST)and Individual Education Plans(IEPs). It's interesting to know how guidance counseling are preceived in other countries. In Thailand, school counseling is advice given by teachers. In Israel, guidance counselors split up how they devote their time. Part of it is to school counseling and the other half is to teaching. I find that to be an intersting concept on how they have to play several roles. I wonder if they are compensated in the same manner or even at all as the US.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Falbe Rewards and Challenges

Guidance counselors are likely to face many rewards and challenges in the scope of their daily work.  Among the rewards would be the personal satisfaction of helping a student through a tough time, and seeing them make different choices the next time. There would also be satisfaction in seeing a student (particularly one who was in danger of failing) walk down the aisle and receive a diploma. Hearing from a student who got their first job,  or one who aced their first semester in a college that you helped them get a scholarship to, etc. would all be gratifying and reasons to stay in the profession.  In the vein of CTAE, helping a student identify a life long career that they had not considered before would be a great reward. 

With all of these rewards though come many challenges.  Among these of course is having to deal with so many problems.  I can imagine that some of the things that counselors deal with (for example abuse) are hard to deal with.  Counselors are also pulled in so many directions and have to deal with SO MANY students. It would be very challenging to offer your best (with career guidance, personal guidance, school guidance etc.) to every student.  It would also be challenging to keep up with the constant change of guidelines. Having to be sure that each and every child is on track to graduate despite changes in legislation and guidelines seems like a huge task. 

Falbe Changed Impressions

  Overall I do not think my understanding of what guidance counselors do has been widely changed after this research, I do however think after reading I have a great understanding of the depth of their job.  When I pulled up the state website I was reminded how much graduation requirements have changed over the past few years, and how much information there is to know.  On top of graduation requirements there were a myriad of social and personal topics mentioned across the websites, that guidance counselors also have to contend with daily. Things like gangs, abuse, bullying, dropouts, pregnancy, and the list continues. I would not say that I was not aware prior to reading this that counselors dealt with these issues, but looking at it all at one time in a list form caused me to really appreciate the depth of their knowledge and commitment to education. 

In my original post I also commented only on high school counselors as this is what I am familiar with.  Reading through the sites I realized what an important role guidance counselors play on career choice even as early as elementary school. I was really surprised to read the counseling standards for each elementary grade at  While each cluster seems tied to classroom standards, they also each have a counseling standard which to me showcases the important role that CTAE education is playing, and will continue to play in the education in Georgia.  

Falbe Perceived Roles

   It is my current impression that the role of a guidance counselor is to help students chose the classes that will not only put them on the right path for graduation, but also help them to explore post high school options.  It seems to me from my experience as both a students and a teacher guidance counselors play a pivotal role in making sure that graduation requirements are fulfilled by making sure that the proper classes are taken as well as proper exams.  As a teacher I have a better understanding that counselors also take an interest in helping students pursue post secondary options. Whether it is helping them to identify a career path, a college, or secure funding for further education guidance counselors play a key role in a high school students academic journey.  While all of this is key to their job, some how they also counsel students through personal issues, making sure that they deal with their problems appropriately and area able to concentrate on getting through high school. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rewards & Challenges
There are definitely rewards and challenges for guidance counselors! The challenges are easy to address. I think that the biggest challenge is for the guidance counselor having the time to do all the things that are expected of her/him.  I feel that with the large number of students in a school that there definitely needs to be more than one per facility in order to do what they do and be totally successful. I hear from our guidance counselor that she often wishes she had “more time” to do what she needs to do. I am sure that they would love to have more help and more time to really give each student 100%+ attention.  The rewards for the guidance counselors are often the same as those for the teacher.  They are rewarded when they see a student that they have counseled graduate and go on to either a job or postsecondary education. They are rewarded when the student that has emotional issues or behavioral issues changes for the better because of the counselor’s intervention. They feel rewarded knowing that they did their best for a student no matter what the outcome. They feel rewarded when a parent calls and thanks them.  There are many more little rewards that occur that keeps them coming back to work; just like teachers! Hopefully the rewards outnumber the challenges!

Changed Impressions
After reading the history and current requirements to be a school counselor I have formed a new appreciation for them! My impression has changed in several ways as I was not aware of the level of education required or of all the duties required of them.  I was a school nurse for quite some time and any issues I had with students outside of physical needs, I went to our in-school social worker. Between her and I, we handled the emotional needs like contemplation of suicide, abuse from the home and emotional issues to name only a few. My history with guidance counselors was that they handled mainly truancy problems, guided class registration and “other things” of which I had no clue. 
Now as a teacher in a different school district, I do not have an in-school social worker but we do have a school counselor. I have worked closely with her with several issues like truancy, suicide threats, behavior issues and of course class registration needs.  Having studied the readings given us in the module, I now know that there is much more to a school counselor than meets the eye!  I was astonished to learn how old the profession is; the current educational requirements; the credential requirements; and all the “hats” they wear! Not only do they take care of students, but they are attending to parents, teachers and even administration needs. I learned firsthand just recently after a meeting that included the counselor, that they are also knowledgeable in areas like postsecondary choices and their requirements, community resources and job outlooks regionally.  The counselor reminds me of that childhood story where the man wears many, many hats at one time on his head.  (Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina)  A school guidance counselor’s job is a constant juggling act and I have a new respect for them all!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Rewards and Challenges"

School counselors careers can be rewarding. Guidance counselors can have a powerful impact that lasts a lifetime. They help student's with learning issues, truancy, various illnesses and very low self- esteem. For many students counselors are advocates for their rights and understand how systems work and how to cultivate friends at outside community agencies that can really help students and families. I can personally recall my school counselor, who I must admit my biology teacher served in all of those capacities at Fulton High School. She was one person that I could share anything with and not worry how I would be judge. Twenty- three years later who would have known she would still be a counselor to me. So you see, guidance counselors have a major role that can maximize a new sense of possibilities that can last forever.

However, school counselors have their challenges as well. Many challenges a school counselor may encounter is lack of parental involvement, overload of students they are servicing and lack of administration support. When parents are not involved with their child's educational career other problems may arise that a counselor will need to be aware of such as, academic failure, attendance problems and behavioral issues. Some of these problems are because the overload of students a counselor might have. At my school, we are fortunate enough to have three counselors, whereas, some schools only have one. This is when students fall off the train, headed for disaster. Administration can support counselors more by attending various meetings to address areas of concerns, as well as highlights of the positives that are occurring in the school building. These are some challenges a counselor may experience.

" Changed Impressions"

Counselors are great assets to the educational system! After reading the required websites, I examined that the role and responsibilities of the school counselor has not changed drastically over the years. Guidance counselors today however, assume many different responsibilities and tasks based on the needs of students and school district. Many counselors have backgrounds in teaching which allows them to effectively improve student achievement.

Today, school counselors still help students make responsible decisions, mediate problems, deal with traumatic losses, develop a sense of respect for themselves and others, and assist students to plan for college, work, post- secondary training, and lifelong learning. Students at my school seek advice from our counselors in all of these areas. I strongly believe school counselors plays and integral part of the school staff and my impressions of their profession is highly respected.

Rewards and Challenges

One of the most challenging requirements for counselors would probably be how to make students and parents happy.  I know that as a teacher I have students complain all the time that they didn't get in the class or classes they wanted.  With most schools having so many students, I think it would be hard to schedule classes that would meet the students needs and parents requests.

I believe that for a counselor to know that they helped a student achieve academic success and be able to see them graduate would be a very rewarding experience.  We know that if most students had their way they would probably take all gym classes.  Counselors work with the students, parents and teachers to provide the best course selection for students on an individual basis. That's why I think seeing them graduate and knowing that through their counseling they helped the student achieve academic success the counselor would feel rewarded.

Changed Impressions

I never realized how much a counselor had on their shoulders nor the multitude of responsibilities some counselors have in their role.  It was very interesting to read how far back in history counseling began.  Counseling is definitely a needful service for our students, parents and teachers.  The education requirements were also very interesting to learn.  Could you imagine how different our schools would be if someone had not seen the need?  I knew that your counselors at school stayed very busy but didn't really comprehend until this assignment.

Perceived Roles

I think the roles and responsibilities of a guidance counselor is to make sure the student is on the correct academic path that they have chosen for that student. They informed the students and/or parents of scholarship opportunties that's available. Guidance counselors help the students with schedule changes in case they're in the incorrect classroom. Another important role that they play is to help the students socially in case of the death of a someone within the student body. They are another source to help the student cope with what has just happened and to determine if it is something that is going to interfere with their school work. The counselors also test their assigned students to see where they are as far as student's course selections.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rewards and Challenges

I would think that the most challenging aspect of being a counselor would be to balance such a variety of issues as well as your own life once you leave work. When you care about people, you can't always leave your work at work. Also, the work load can be a challenge. Depending on how many counselors are in the same school, what your areas of expertise are and the work ethics and values of each individual, it could be a challenge to address every need. Although, there is training in student diversity, I would imagine that understanding the different cultures within the school would be difficult when it comes to personal or social issues.

It is always rewarding to help someone. To help someone find their way though is extra special. For a student to have a change of heart about the path they are taking or are now considering their future when they never have before, is rewarding. I would think the ultimate reward would be to see a struggling student years after graduation and see that they are now doing well based on the decisions you assisted them in making.

Changed Impressions

What has changed in my impression of a counselor is the depth of knowledge and range of job descriptions they must be adept in. Looking at the history, it has gone from one thing to another but looking at what a counselor is expected to be responsible for today seems to be a culmination of all of it through the ages: guidance, vocational interests, including assisting students with the social, personal and educational aspects of their lives, being non-directive yet spending more time in guiding special needs students. To have to be the liason between community and school, assisting everyone from teachers, parents and students is more to me than one person can do well.  On top of it all, it is preferred they have a teaching background? I would agree that the best counselor is one who once taught the students they will guide.

In some countries, I saw that the counselor is required to teach in addition to their counseling duties. One description in the reading described the 'counselor' at our school. In an IEP meeting last week the question of her title came up. The parent asked, "...who is the counselor", she said, "I am". They asked, "Well who is the assistant principle then?". She said, "that's me too, along with several other things". It is awful that our jobs (especially counselors) must be so multi-faceted. I don't think their time should have to be split between paperwork or administrative duties versus assisting the needs of students.

Learning about all of this makes me understand why there has always been multiple counselors. It baffles me that this sector would be downsized so heavily because of the value of what they do.

"Perceived Roles"

Guidance Counselors are the individuals that point our young adults into the right directions with their futures.  Teachers help them to map educational requirements that lead to great career choices and the Guidance counselors make sure students stay on track with their high school requirements to push them towards graduation in order to reach those career goals.  The counselor's roles aren't limited to just the confines of the school. Some counselors go above and beyond to make sure that the students receive the necessities needed to continue through high school.  Counselors, make sure that things are going well at home to ensure that the child has  a stable roof over their head.  Counselors, if  they receive a tip from teachers stating that the student's grades are declining due to excessive tardies and or sleeping in class, the counselor will investigate to see what has changed in the students personal life and make sure the necessary authorities are contacted on behalf of the well being of this minor.  Counselor's also mediate between adolescent disagreement allowing a safe haven for students to talk out their disagreements in a neutral environment.

So, all in all I perceive the counselor's role to be a very important role that begins to shape our young adults future.  This responsibility doesn't just stop with making sure they have all of their graduation requirements, but making sure that things are going well at home and with their social lives.

Perceived Roles

I believe guidance counselors have one of the toughest jobs in schools.  Not only do they have to assign students to required classes but also speak with parents and develop relationships with colleges.  Our counselors work to provide college information and help students plan for college by introducing them to College411.  They also work with CTAE teachers and students to ensure students are taking part in classes that will be beneficial to their future.  It is expected that CTAE teachers at our school work with their students to understand what their choices are and how they can benefit from them.  We try to recognize early in their semester if a student is not interested in our class so that we can refer them to their counselor.  The counselors will then arrange the students schedule with a CTAE class that is better suited for them.  Our counselors also develop Advisement Lessons that we implement each Thursday.  The lessons vary from how to identify abuse to bullying. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Perceived Roles

My personal impressions of what the roles and responsibilities of guidance counselors were that they handle personal students in need of academic, social and emotional assistance. Counselors are there to work for the students aka "The advocate". Counselors are not there to be a disciplinarian. Counselors are involved in activities and services that will enhance students school experience. These are some of the things I thought that counselors did to make students school learning enviornment better. Meeting with classroom teacher to discuss difficulty of students. Reviewing current and past report card as well as graduation and end of course test scores of student in question. Set up meeting with parents and other committee members. Actively involve parents or legal guardian in the development and implementation of further interventions.

Perceived Roles

Until I reached 11th grade, my perception of guidance counselors were related to social/personal issues. Something like a psychologist is what I viewed them as. In my mind, I had no need for them because I thought if you were having problems at home, they would be the ones to see. Toward the end of my 11th grade year, I began associating counselors with college. I noticed that every announcement involving juniors and seniors with regard to college, was associated with the counselor. So, at this point, my understanding was they were a resource and the go to person for questions about college. Now, being on the teaching side of things, I view counselors as a multitude of things but mainly a bridge. They are in fact the people to go to if you are having personal/social issues because they are a neutral (non-threatening) 3rd party. They are also a great wealth of information. (From a parent perspective, the key is being able to catch one available to actually answer your questions.) But mainly, they can be the bridge to the future for students. With their knowledge and resources, they assist students through their current and into their next stage in life. Because my grandparents had no idea about or interest in college, for me, a counselor ended up walking me through the steps for college providing me with my transcripts etc. that I needed.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I believe that the "Ultimate" reward for any guidance counselor would be to see a student succeed in life after having "counseled" and worked with that student to help guide him/her on a better path. Helping to guide students on the right track can also be a challenge. I think the most challenging aspects that counselors face are "jealous and insecure parents" that may feel that the counselor is trying to take their place, and their child away from them. Counselors also have to deal with parents who have unrealistic expectations of them to fix a problem that "the Parent" should have fixed years ago. Counselors also have to relate to and connect on a certain level with students who are several years younger, have different values and different interest than their own. The counselor also has rules to abide by to ensure they do their jobs in a professional manner. If there are ethical concerns, they have to be very careful not to cross the line and making themselves vulnerable. Human nature and the need to want to help someone can cause the counselor to become too emotionally involved with the student and that can lead to trouble. In short, the counselor has a multitude of challenges that he/she may face, how he/she handles these challenges is whats important.


What I found interesting as I read and  researched this assignment was that the primary role of the Guidance Counselor has not "drastically" changed through the years in terms of offering students professional guidance in the areas of academic, social and career issues. As a matter of fact, even-though the history of counseling and guidance principles can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome with philosophical teachings of Plato and Aristotle, the techniques and skills of modern-day guidance counselors of today, were practiced by Catholic priests in the Middle Ages. Of course, guidance counselors and the programs they use today have evolved into a much more effective overall experience for students today.

Teacher Retention- " Perkins Funding and Legislation"

Last evening's class focused on Perkins Legislation. Many of you shared thoughts of how teacher recruitment and teacher retention could use improvement in the CTE area. Please be creative and think and write about what you think would be a good process to improve teacher retention in CTE. If you had the Perkins money to spend in this area, what would you do?

Career and technical education teachers help student's in middle and high school develop career related and technical skills. CTE teachers also assist students explore or prepare students to enter a particular occupation such as culinary arts, healthcare, auto mechanics, business and cosmetology.

In retaining good skilled CTE teachers, administrators should dig deeper and become supportive of the various programs offered in their building. Many CTE teachers resign after one year of teaching because they are simply overwhelmed with the paperwork, meetings, and behavior of the students. They lack support from administrators with resolving some of these issues. Also many new CTE teachers have never been in a classroom setting and needs more pedagogy in order for them to be successful.

If I had money from Perkins, I would use it for better kitchen equipment, field trips that would provide my culinary art students with hands on activities and professional lab jackets for all students in the area of culinary arts. This will allow students  to feel better about themselves in their chosen career pathway.

"Perceived Roles"

I personally believe school guidance counselors are important at all levels from elementary to high school who help students prepare for the future. Guidance Counselors additionally promote a student's social and personal well being. School Counselors provide career and educational counseling. They advocate for student's and help them to determine what their talents, interests and abilities are. Guidance Counselors also help with career and college information. They also connect and coordinate compatible advising programs and activities, such as student schedules, grade level orientation, grade level and senior projects, career day programs and scholarship and financial aid information.

In my school we also have a graduation coach, which is almost similar to a guidance counselor. Graduation Coaches and school counselors both identifies issues that may prevent a student from graduating from high school. School Counselors engage parents who are not involved to become more active participants in their child's academic success. School counselors are involved in character education, violence prevention,  and much more.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Perceived Roles

Personally I think the roles and responsibilities of guidance counselors are to ensure that students are matriculating in the appropriate manner, given a place to speak in confidence about academic and personal issues that may affect school performance and provided with various resources that will aid the student holistically.

I am sure that there are many other roles that guidance counselors play, but I think that those 3 are the primary responsibilities. Counselors are the gateway to the students transcript and performance record. They use information within the students transcripts to assist with placements and make recommendations for further class placements. They also provide students with a sounding board to address issues that may be of a personal or academic concern. Students can use them as a resource for emotional help and advice as it relates to exterior elements that can impact that students education. Lastly, counselors are also the extension of the school that provides students with outside resources that may be needed to aid students in need. Examples of these types of resources would be transportation, referrals for emotional therapy, family financial crisis and emergency aid for erratic and unusual behavior.


Guidance counselors are vital in the overall achievement of our students in schools across this country. The guidance counselor is there to "Guide" the student through the areas of Academics, Career and any Personal or Social issues that the student may encounter. They also work in public and private schools where they meet with students individually or with entire classes for special events, such as substance abuse lectures and college recruitment information. To work in any given school, counselors must first be licensed by their state.

Licensing requirements vary, but most states require a master's degree in school counselling from an accredited program. Some states also require guidance counselors to have a teaching certificate and teaching experience to work in a school. Most guidance counselors work in elementary, middle and high schools; however, some work in colleges or universities and may be called academic advisers. Those who do not work in a school find jobs in vocational rehabilitation services and individual or family services. Experienced guidance counselors may take on directorial or supervisory roles for counseling personnel services or become counseling educators, school administrators or work for a state's department of education

School guidance counselors spend the bulk of their time with students who are having trouble with their schoolwork or who are experiencing emotional problems, such as stress and peer pressure. College guidance counselors primarily act as academic advisers and help students who are having difficulty selecting a major or identifying career goals. High school guidance counselors also take on academic advisory roles. They help students select colleges, apply for financial aid and generally assist in the application process. Guidance counselors also help those not planning to go to college prepare for the workforce by assisting with resume writing, job searches and interview practice.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rewards and Challenges

I believe that to see a student(s) become successful should not be based on money, status in life, or material possessions. Guidance counselors are required to guide a student needing educational planning, but quite often social or behavior problems are dominant challenges.  Sometimes a student has all three challenges to overcome.  I do counsel students, and many times it is heart-breaking; any of these challenges lead to lack of self-confidence.  Lack of self-confidence can destroy a students’ ability to overcome other areas that lead to success.  The guidance counselors’ major problem is being able to juggle all the teaching and guidance criteria.  The rewards do happen, seeing a student’s improved grades, a smiling face showing improved confidence, a returning (visiting) student  telling you I decided to go to vocational school, or I am going to college. 

Changed Impressions

I realize this is a very important and challenging occupation.  While some would refer to being a guidance counselor an occupation or career, instead I believe this position requires educators that desire to make a difference in society and educational successes.  Empowering students in gaining success in society and education will help students obtain success in their lives.  After reading information on the websites regarding guidance counselors, once again my mind is overwhelmed and I am reminded of the many responsibilities associated with being a guidance counselor. The students, students’ families, administrators, and teachers must all be included in planning and directing the problem/troubled student.  While helping the students become successful, a guidance counselor must maintain open communications between all parties involved.  Guidance counselors do not only provide educational advice, but help with social problems.  The guidance counselor walks many paths to enable their students to find the right pathway to emotional, educational, and career success.

"Changed Impressions."

After reading the early history of counseling, obviously the field has broadened from targeting vocational education, to the entire field of education.  What is interesting to note, is that history continues to repeat itself with the lack of support, particularly funding being allotted to the field of counseling.  The overall goal of the school counselor as a profession appears to have have started based upon the need to provide services beyond education to include social services. Taking a further look, the United States continues to fall behind the rest of the world in the fields of math and science.  The reading also suggests that the development of the field was a slow process, aimed overtime at providing much needed services to students, and though the mission seems to still be relevant, the process of specific, defined roles, aimed solely at student success, seem to allude us, particularly in the district that I teach in.  I often hear counselors speak to 9th grade students about the importance of starting off strong and maintaining high GPA's and involvement in extracurricular activities so that when they begin to apply to colleges they are able to compete with other students around the world. The problem is that the speech here or there is not enough. Just last week, I had several 11th grade students to come to me after they had gotten the latest class ranking report asking me how they could go back and recover credit from their 9th and 10th grade years. I heard complaints such as "I should have been more serious my 9th grade year", and "I had a good time that year, I wasn't thinking about school".  It is my belief that if more support and resources are aimed at the underclassmen, then the remediation and summer school courses will become less of an issue at the "11th hour."  After reading all of the articles, I realize that the field of counseling has made great strides over the years, but more support is needed in order for counselors and students to reap the benefits of the services that many of our students depend on.

Rewards and Challenges

Unfortunately for many educators we are not rewarded enough, in my opinion.  We are responsible for shaping the future of our students and yet a simple "thank you" seems to be less popular than asking students to do homework.  I have many friends that are school counselors and prior to becoming a teacher I did not understand just how much responsibility that is placed on their shoulders.  Our last school counselor, the third one in three years worked her last day last Friday, and I remember asking her was she happy to be leaving. She summed up for me the rewards and challenges that she faced during her short time as a high school counselor working in an urban district.  The reward for her was that many of the students who had not passed the GGT at the beginning of the school year had finally passed and were on their way to graduation. One of her last tasks was to announce to students the latest test results from the GGT and she told me that the face on the students that had failed the test multiple times and had finally passed was priceless. She also talked about helping students to fill out college applications particularly those who felt that the only way out of their current circumstance was to further their education. So in a nutshell, her reward was the prospect of a brighter future for the students at our school. Unfortunately the challenges outweighed the rewards in many cases, which helped lead Ms. H to leave our school.  In addition to being the school counselor, she was also the registrar, the attendance clerk, the back up secretary, and even a disciplinarian when fights would break out right outside of the principals suite.  Ms. H. shared with me that for all that she was able to do, she never felt like she had enough time to provide the students with the services that that needed.  Students often needed help with filling out food stamp applications, job applications, referrals for clothing and other social issues that were just as important as registering for the ACT, or the SAT.  I was sad to see her go, but I understand. Unfortunately the students, especially the seniors were left disappointed but a new counselor has started and my hope is that she will at least last until the end of the school year.

"Perceived Roles"

I actually have a mixed opinion on the role of counselors because the role of my counselor in high school is much different than the role of the counselor(s) at the school that I teach at currently.  I remember being able to walk into my counselors office and sit down and talk about anything. When I got ready to begin applying for colleges, I really had no idea what I was doing because no one in my family had gone to college prior to me.  She helped with all of the applications including the financial aid piece.  At my current school, we are now working on a third counselor within the last 3 years. Our last counselor was introduced to the students last week and right after telling them her name she announced that she did not want any of them coming to her office without a hall pass. As a matter of fact, she reiterated that point several times in her short introduction.  I got a chance to work with the last counselor regarding pathway completer's, and I sensed that she was so overwhelmed, many of my emails and requests went unnoticed for long periods of time.  However I saw a change in her behavior toward me as well as the response times to my emails when I walked up to her one day and said hi, and asked her to reach out to me if she needed anything. I realized that her role is certainly not one that I would ever want because it even though there is a job description in place, there are so many other hats that she had to wear and there is simply not enough time for one person to give 350 students who are at or below the poverty line what they need.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rewards and Challenges

I think the greatest reward of a guidance counselor is when they have the ability to see the fruit of their labor. Many times the seeds that they plant don't show growth until a student has grown-up, graduated or moved along. When the "at risk" student gets the job, or the scholarship, or the rescue from a dangerous environment, that's when a guidance counselor can know that their job was successful, and I think that is what they find most rewarding. I think the most challenging aspect of their job comes with the frustration of not having the time to meet the individual needs of students. I believe their goal is to really give personalized guidance and  they are pulled in so many different directions that it is almost impossible to spend the time needed to offer guidance and direction in a meaningful manner.  It must be very frustrating to know there are needs and also know that some of those needs will go unmet because there are only so many hours in a day.    

Changed Impressions

As a previous school nurse, I have had opportunities to work with school counselors at elementary, middle, and high school levels and I have always been impressed with their abilities to reach and connect with students.  While I could physically treat a student with an anxiety disorder, the guidance counselor could give the student tools to avoid panic attacks. If I had to treat a student who was physically abused, and I did on far too many occasions, it was the school counselor who was my partner in making sure that every base was covered and no student fell through the cracks. I have had the privilege of experiencing their super hero tendencies. After reading the history, educational and credentialing requirements, and their current roles in Georgia education, I am even more in awe as they balance their multi-faceted roles.  Guidance counselors have a lot of bases to cover when their duties are so diverse. At every level they are treating students who need emotional guidance and other students who need career guidance, and not just the students. They are trained to incorporate the family, teachers, and administrators. The degree of knowledge they must have in just the areas of  scholarships, grants, duel enrollment, and college and career readiness is amazing! One of the things I particularly liked and had no idea was occurring was the career lessons they do with younger children. They do a whole lesson with 2nd graders on health care careers - very cool.

"Perceived Roles"

It is interesting that we have been asked to  blog about what we perceive to be the roles of our school's guidance counselors. I have wondered that myself based on some of the reasons students ask to see their counselor.  I am not exactly sure of what their specific are roles now because some of those roles may have changed since I was in school. I think that one main role is to meet with students individually as well as collectively regarding the requirements for high school graduation by grade level. This is done throughout the highschool career. Another one of their responsibilities is to ensure that each student is enrolled in the core and elective classes necessary to gain the specific number of credit hours for completion of high school. I also believe counselors are to also assist students with personal issues that prevent them from being able to attend school and/or meet the requirements for passing courses or complete the requirements for graduation.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Rewards and Challenges"

I think the most rewarding part of being a Guidance Counselor would be to see students become successful.Success would not be measured on how much money or things that they have, but, the ability for the student to have a positive outlook on the choices they have made on the route we call life. As a teacher I am proud of my students success and I think it would be very satisfying to see a student that you helped guide become a success. I feel the most challenging aspect would be to learn how to juggle all of the many responsibilities without loosing focus.

"Changed Impressions"

After reading the links provided all I can really say is "Wow". I had no idea how much the Guidance Counselors are responsible for. The name should be changed to Guidance and Counseling to better explain what they do. I was vaguely aware of some of the responsibilities but the research brought it into the clear. The guidance counselors serve as social counselor ,behavior counselor, student to teachers liaison, student to parent liaison and teacher to parent liaison along with providing academic and career guidance.They have a ton of responsibility and I know I would need counseling after a couple of weeks doing the job they are required to do. I am also impressed that the GADOE site shows how soon the elementary counselors start preparing students for CTE.

Rewards and Challenges

The challenges that I see and understand for school counselors are many. Their role is ever changing and is dependent of the culture of the school and community that they are in. They have to be flexible and willing to adapt to new issues, learn about new issues formally and informally in order to be "in touch" with their clientele.  That is another challenge, their clientele. That would include students, families, teachers, administrators and their community.  I feel that their roles and responsibilities are far too expansive, at least for the student counselor ratio  (1:550) that I see in local high schools. I think it challenging at best for them to conduct any  therapy in the daily routine of high school. The rewards, I  might image,would be similar to teaching in the sense of making the connection and influencing a student in a way that could change their future for the better. Helping students achieve a goal or make the best choices to get on  the pathway to make the goal a reality.

With only my limited exposure to guidance counselors, I probably have a very outdated perception of what their role is. As a high school student “once upon a time” myself, their role was mostly that of registering us for our next set of classes if we needed it. They were there to offer advice if we were not sure of what classes we needed in order to graduate on time. Most of the time, I knew what I needed and just registered for classes myself. A minor role that our counselor played (once upon a time) was to help those students that had personal problems that maybe made it into the school setting.  We never saw our counselor who was always behind closed doors or at meetings.  What they did exactly was a mystery. My most recent experience as a new teacher with guidance counselors and their role had not changed much. At the first school I taught at, I again never saw them and yes, assumed that they were busy registering students for classes and counseling behavior issues thrown their way on occasion.  I did not know their names and rarely saw them in their offices. I did learn that they were very busy with testing and graduation issues. But again, it was a mystery to me exactly what they did.  I heard many teachers complain that counselors were out of touch and just put the students that had no career goals in classes that had room for them regardless of whether the student wanted to be there or not. This was especially true of CTE classes.  I must add at this point that in my new school which is much smaller and has only one counselor that she has a multitude of responsibilities much like we do as teachers! I know her name and she is very approachable and helpful to me when I have issues I need help with regarding my students.  She deals with not only registration of classes but all the other things that come up that include emotional, behavioral and education issues to name a few!

Perceived Roles

When I was in High School, at the same school I now teach in, my perception of the guidance counselors was they helped you plan for your future after you graduated. When you walked into the guidance office you saw college posters and racks of recruitment material. The military recruiters would arrange meetings in the guidance office and speak to the staff about potential recruits. All of the pre-college tests were scheduled through the guidance office. You could obtain scholarship information and work with the guidance staff to insure you had the necessary courses for your post high school career or education. All course schedules were handled by the guidance office and the two guidance counselors.

My perception of the guidance office now is clouded by my high school days. I still expect them to do the same things but school and the students have changed. For a time we had guidance counselors that also served as behavior counselors too. Our counselors were over worked and had little time to be academic/ career counselors. In the past year that has changed and they are now back to providing educational guidance and becoming a liaison between the students,teachers,recruiters and the work force.

Changed Impressions

After reading all the websites required for this assignment my impression has changed. The history of the school guidance counselor has evolved in reaction to the societal changes. Early on they were focused on assessment and vocational guidance. It was not until the 1950s that they developed a professional organization. Their profession responded to the changes happening in the 60's and 70's by expanding cultural sensitivity and increasing therapy. Finally, in the last 25 years because of  IEPs/SSTs/504s and all the legally required special education accommodations, the counselors role has changed and expanded. Interestingly enough their standard in training and credentialing isn't nationally accepted. Although in reviewing  the GSU website and the course work required for the Master's program in school counseling, their education is mostly in counseling, interventions and therapy. My impression is that school counselors are still evolving and will always evolve as a response to the trends in society and our culture. Their education will also need to evolve in response to their school atmosphere and culture.

Perceived Roles

What do I believe is the role of a GC in High School? I see a part of what they do and they are "mega-mulit-taskers". I believe their role is to guide students on what classes to take, guide them on life after high school and handle minor social services issues. However I see them do much more than that. Student scheduling issues, parent- student issues, student-student issues, environmental issues and home issues. They roll with the changes and look pretty overloaded most of the time.

Perceived Roles

I believe that the role of a guidance counselor in a high school setting is to offer direction for a student. This guidance can be emotional or social if needed or requested by the student but should have the primary goal of offering guidance for goal setting, and direction for the future. This should be available and required for all students.  In order to do this successfully, I believe the guidance counselor must know, to at least some degree, the "shape" of that student. For example, what are their dreams, aspirations, strengths, and weaknesses.  What I have sadly seen in my high school are guidance counselors who would love to invest in students to that degree but are unable. We have over 2000 students and 4 guidance counselors. We do not have graduation coaches. Counselors are so busy with administrative duties, like testing, that they no longer have the time to give thoughtful direction for the individual student.  

"Perceived Roles"

Counselors are extremely needed and in many cases can make a difference in educational decisions made by their students.  We are a necessary tool the students can utilize in order to improve their educational course and enable them to often become clear on what path they can and will pursue.  The counselor's attitude toward their students and the students' individual needs can make a difference in a student's life decisions.  Counselors must be trustworthy and dependable listeners; have a caring personality.  We must realize our students are facing many challenges and sometimes just need an encouraging word, but often they need extensive support.  Whatever educational support a counselor can provide their students can make a difference in their students' career and future.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

We could go on and on with this one....

I am approaching my 1 year anniversary next month and I see why teachers quit. When I came in, there was a registered nurse who had not taught a full year who decided to resign because of the work load compared to the money.  She simply made more money for less work working at a hospital. Many people, including myself, explore the area of teaching because of the ‘school hours’. Well, it’s more like industry, self-employment hours. The bad part for our school is that they paid about $10,000 for her to get certified, so it was not incentive enough. It takes a person who is very driven to do the jobs we do. In my county I am the only chef. Although we complain about the drive-ins, conferences etc., those are the places when I search for help from those in my field.  Of all of the culinary instructors in our state, I am told only 9 are culinary trained. That is amazing to me. I was looking forward to GATFACS, but due to our school’s lack of funds, we were on our own to go and they were not interested in paying for substitutes. Giving our schools the money for subs and paying for industry/program driven conferences would be a nice touch – professional development at it’s best.
I think the money should also be re-purposed to pay Chefs (and all CTE instructors) a comparable wage to their industry.  They should also have courses like NTI to address and learn the things we have. Finding ways to partner the program with businesses for fundraising, support and job shadowing for students would be helpful. Some businesses just don’t seem to have any interest in giving back (or a visible incentive to do so). Also, investing more in an in-depth program for other culinary instructors beyond the 2 week CIA course would give them a greater depth of knowledge of the field. Paying them to do a summer internship with a local catering facility or restaurant so the establishment would not bear the burden financially but provide the insight needed.
It would also not hurt to supply more money for supplies as $4,000 per year for 60 students is not enough to get them work ready with the kind of experience we are wanting to put into the industry. There is nothing more frustrating than not having the funds to produce the results you need to. This is why places like Disney and large hotels draw so much interest. Although they have their budgets, there is nothing they won’t accomplish. I’m not saying we have to be swimming in money to be satisfied (although it would be nice), but we could stand to have better conditions as it relates to being prepared, supplementing our standard way of life (being an educator) and having the supplies we need to effectively do our job. The equipment I have is worth nothing to the students or to me if I don’t have food to cook.

New Mentor System

The plan that I would implament to keep teacher retention down would create a better mentor system for new teachers. The plan would make a better transition from the work force to the classroom. The mentor for the new teacher would be some one that has taught the course or a related course area. The mentor system would also provide new teachers with a game plan for the classroom which would include the base lesson plans and educational work shops that would provide them with information that should be taught in a standard base classroom. New teacher would be on this plan for 2 years to provide the necessary help that is neeed to make a smooth transition into a classroom setting. I think this plan would not make new teacher feel like they are being set up to not be succssful. The revised mentor system would give each teacher a great base to build on to become a better teacher in there subject area.

CTAE New Teacher Retention

Many of you shared thoughts of how teacher recruitment and teacher retention could use improvement in the CTE area. Please be creative and think and write about what you think would be a good process to improve teacher retention in CTE. If you had the Perkins money to spend in this area, what would you do?

In order to improve teacher retention in the CTE programs I believe the new teacher needs a support network  that includes a seasoned teacher from the program area, a mentor that is an administrator from the school in which they are employed and the funding to become certified for the position they are hired for. The new teacher also needs to have someone assist with the certification process.The new teacher should be put in contact with a NTI program immediately and start the process in a seamless transition from the industry in which they left.

I started teaching in the public school system at the three quarter mark of the school year. My CTAE director was in my classroom daily and I had a para-pro assigned for the day. If I did not have that kind of support and a background of teaching experience my teaching career would have been short lived. I stepped into a class that had been filled with problem students, the necessary shop tools had disappeared and the good students felt I had kicked the old teacher out of his job.I knew how to deal with discipline issues, just not how the school wanted them dealt with.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

If I had money from Perkins, I would try to expand my lab to have a washer and dryer in my dispensary.  I have to get the ESS students to wash them for us.  My lab only has 10 stations so the other students have to work at their desk or do nails.  But I only have 4 nail stations.  I think a lab that is seperate from the classroom would work better.  I have enough supplies to run my classroom.  That has never been a problem.  Just wish the builder knew how to layout a salon and that every dispensary should have plumbing for a washer and dryer. 

Teacher Retention: Perkins Funding and Legislation

In order to retain individuals in any given field, an organization or entity would have to give those individuals a purpose for commitment. In regard to CTE, most teachers in this field already come into the classroom with other career options. It would be great if Perkin's funded post-secondary education to those who choose to commit to the classroom. In addition, it would also be nice if there was some part of the legislation that would provide those CTE educators with needed components that would engage more commerce between the school and it's surrounding community. It would also be advantageous to see an arrangement that would allow loan repayment in exchange for service, similarly to that of the military GI Bill. That way a CTE professional educator can focus on their career and not the burden of repaying a loan. In addition, this would guarantee a longer stay for needed teachers in their respective areas. This narrowed focus would encourage educators to not only stay, but also build on their current careers as educators and perhaps enhance other areas of CTE, such as research, administration, career forecasting for students and program development.

Repurposing Perkins Legislation to Recruit & Retain Teachers!

This is a headline I would love to see!  As we have learned in earlier classes this semester, CTE has come a long way but I feel could use even more updating.  As we all now know as new CTE teachers, the job is challenging but can be rewarding as well when we see the success of our students. The problem is that we are overwhelmed so quickly when we start that we burn out on average after three to five years. This just does not serve the education system well in my opinion. These numbers clearly point out that we have a real problem!  I hear my fellow NTI teachers all saying the same thing. Basically we are “thrown to the wolves”: here is your classroom and here is your list of students” and then you are on your own.
I feel that some of the Perkins money should be set aside to focus on the new teachers. We certainly are hired for our expertise out in the field.  Most of us however do not come with the experience of actual teaching in the high school classroom but have the energy, enthusiasm and desire to share this knowledge with these students. Why not use Perkins money to first of all pay for the certification classes for a new teacher? This is often a standard practice in the business world and would be an incentive for new CTE teachers to help supplement the notoriously low wages that teachers can expect. Why not use Perkins money to provide at least a part-time teaching assistant to help out especially in the skills labs as that plays a major role in the curriculum requirements?  Having that extra help to just take care of the large number of students that have to be trained and tested on a mostly 1:1 basis would ensure skills are learned more efficiently and accurately. More skills could even be taught with the extra help.  Why not use some of the Perkins funds to provide a mentor for a new teacher?  Paying a seasoned and successful teacher to mentor the new teacher would certainly be an incentive for both parties. One is rewarded for sharing his/her experience and one is rewarded with the support of knowing they had someone to go to with questions and concerns. Our school tried to do a mentoring program last year but there was no follow-through. I think part of the problem was that CTE mentors were not matched up with new CTE teachers but just teachers in general. Mentors need to be in the same field as the new CTE teacher to be effective.
So, I again say I would love to see the headline that Perkins Legislation is being repurposed to recruit and retain teachers. It could be done cost-effectively and would pay off in big ways down the road if that CTE teacher lasted past the predicted three to five year period. It is more costly not to do this as recruiting and recruiting and recruiting adds up!  When a CTE teacher is lost out of the system, the students then get a substitute teacher that usually has no experience either teaching or even teaching that subject. The bottom line to this is that the students are the ones to suffer “the cost” from having to have one permanent substitute teacher after another.  Isn’t this one thing that the Perkins Legislation is supposed to prevent or should prevent?

Great Preparation = Great Success

A person once said "It's better to be prepared and not have the opportunity than to have the opportunity and not be prepared." That saying has stuck with me every since I heard it. How is it that CTAE teachers are given the job but not the preparation that comes with it. I feel the money given should be allocated to a year of mentoring programs. The CTAE mentors should also go through training on how to properly guide the mentees. The funding should also go towards the first year CTAE teachers to help them purchase what's needed for their classroom. They should be awarded funds for continuing education throughout the school year. The students need funding as well. I hear a lot of teachers having to do fun raisers at the beginning of the year because their department barely received money to make the program successful. How do you expect the kids to excel if they are not giving the necessary tools to succeed. If the CTAE department was treated more like the core classes, I don't think we would even be having this discussion.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Cost of Retention - Priceless

The concept that a portion of Perkins funding is delegated toward CTE teacher retention is novel to me.  I personally have not seen any evidence of the monies being spent in that direction.  I hesitate to sound quite so negative but I believe that there is power  in truth, so here it goes...  If I had the power of the purse strings this is how I would spend it:
1. I would pay for NTI. The counter argument to this could be why invest monies in a person who has not yet proven to be effective and have staying power. I say: take the risk.  I am being asked to teach 3 different classes/preps, solely advise a student organization, complete all the steps to reach certification, serve on a SACS committee and industry certify all at the same time. I am working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. If I broke down what I am getting paid per hour based on my provisional certificate pay scale minus the cost of the NTI program, I'm making less than minimum wage. 
2. I would give new CTE teachers the first 2-3 years to focus on learning how to teach effectively before I overwhelmed them with the requirements of an expert teacher.  Daily lesson plans posted, weekly webpage/calandar updates, industry certification, and extra committee assignments are not bad things but can WAIT. It's the whole concept of first crawl, then walk, then run. We are being required to run from day 1. Where is the wisdom in that?  New CTE teachers are running....running away.
3. I would schedule the CTE department chair at each individual school to have the same planning period as every new CTE teacher.  This could serve as mentoring or just assistance with the new teacher learning how to manage all the administrative duties, such as field trip paperwork, fundraising, B1's, B3's, IEPs and the list goes on.
4. I would pay, if need be, the principal at every school to meet with their new CTE teacher once a month and the principal would be required to say, "What can I take off your plate to help you be successful?" Whatever that teacher shared would then have to be granted. Where's my magic wand and fairy dust.....?
You know, the interesting thing about this list is that out of the four suggestions, only one requires the actual spending of funds. The other three could all be accomplished with a little bit of grace, support, and collaboration.....priceless.