After reading a few of the blog posts about this week’s discussion I couldn’t help but be a little discouraged in some ways. I know in my area of the state (Pickens County in Jasper, GA) there is a massive interest in agricultural and culinary education pathways. Those two programs are pretty much maxed out with teachers taking extended days to meet the needs of the students. However, in the past two years there has been a shift in interest to the business and technical end of the spectrum.
The good news for many of us back in CTAE is that the counselors have begun to shift more and more of the student population in our direction. I would say a majority of these kids at least show SOME interest in the course offerings that we teach back here. I know at least in my classes I am at max numbers of 32 with the exception of my third period class.
I know in my own experience the students I have love my classes because I have done things totally different than any other teacher before me. I have posters of comic book characters, movies, video games, and popular TV shows like Duck Dynasty. I have a few video game figurines on display as well and I have made it my mission to tailor all of my lesson plans using MODERN day subject material. I talked a little about this at our in class session back in August and I must say now that I have actually been implementing this stuff it has shifted the students interest in ways I never thought possible.
A lot of the kids just talk to me about movies, video games, and comic book characters. Giving them a common ground to at least SOMEWHAT relate to me on has helped me to keep them on task and doing what they are supposed to do. In my situation at least, it has been good for me to share that side of me with them. My wife teaches fourth grade and the biggest thing she said is that your classroom should have SOME part of you in it. Something that the kids can look at and say, “So that’s what he’s all about…”
Taking this practice to heart has made a difference at least in my situation so hopefully this encourages some of you to do the same.