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?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Leap of Faith

    Jumping into the education field from another career is like taking a Leap of Faith or in the words of Forest Gump, " a  box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.".  Many of us get into a career we love at first and then realize we do not love it so much.  Some of us may realize that we are better at something else.  Some make career changes thinking it may help them find happiness or that a change is needed in their life.  Others may need something that makes their lives easier or can transition with them as they start families.  Whatever the reason may be, a career change is something common.  For most career tech teachers, they are pursing education as a second career path.  It is something they have made a decision about and left the fields they know to fill their students heads with that knowledge and experience.  Regardless of the situation they came from, most career tech teachers are still filled with that initial passion for the career they teach.
    What I like the least about being a CTE teacher is something I believe we will always struggle with, competing with academics.  While I understand the importance and need for college prep/AP courses, there is also a very strong need for career development.  Some kids have no clue what they want to do at 17, but some know already what they want to be.  Those kids that know they want to be a doctor, nurse, chef, lawyer, news anchor or police officer; want to jump into that training as early as possible.  For those that struggle with academics, a vocational or career tech path is a much brighter option for them.  I see a tremendous drop in effort and motivation in my classes around testing or exam time for academics.  The students have a lot of pressure on them to perform above standard and to constantly challenge themselves with more difficult courses.
    I also get a cold shoulder from academic teachers when our students leave for National Competitions.  Some do not see the benefit or the importance of what we are doing.  Just as winning a Region Championship and moving on to State Playoffs is important to the football team, so is competing nationally with all other schools in the same career field to see who is the best for us.  We compete once a year, just like any sports team.  We should be held to the same importance as anything else.  It is like we are looked down on.  We hear from the students that academic teachers make comments like,  "well my math class or my biology class is more important than that competition."  It's almost like we are going off to a carnival or a zoo to play, we are competing with the best soon-to-be journalist and filmmakers in America.  The students that go are passionate about what they are doing and 95% of them will be pursuing a similar field in college.  Sorry, but it is as important.  I believe this will always be a battle.
    What I like most about teaching CTE is that I do not feel like I am teaching something I read out of a textbook, but rather teaching something I have a passion for.  My experience in the field has prepared me to be better at what I do, because I have lived everything I am teaching them how to do.  I love seeing them get excited about a project or awarded with an Emmy or Nationally recognized for a production.  They inspire me to be better everyday.  I want to know different ways I can motivate them to be better at what they are doing.  The challenges that come with being a teacher are not that different from challenges one may face in a career field, however, they are something that dependent on how we react can change the course of a teenagers life.  I love the fact that the students learn how to develop their craft and find their way to what suits them best in this field as they climb through each level.
    Just like Forest, you may get a chocolate out of the box that you love but sometimes you may find one you don't care for all that much.  In teaching, as each passing year goes,  students come and go and so do colleagues and administrators.  If you weigh the good and the bad or the positives and the negatives, you will see that the good far outweighs the bad.  So when you start to feel discouraged, keep an amazing paper or a note given by a student that makes you smile and remember the good you are doing.  Like my mom said, or may be it was someone else, "This too shall pass.".  You too will have those moments where you are challenged with sour moments, but always keep motivated by the sweet ones.

1 comment:

e.lear said...

I agree Gina. Seeing the reaction from the students is what makes me go ahead! While writing my blog I didnt touch on the acedemic classes because I didnt want to write a novel ha . I struggled with this so much last year that I had to let it go "yes I had to " or I would have gone crazy!!! I told myself I am just as important!~ I will be changing lives and I will do my job and only my job!