The Dire Need of Career & Technical Education

When I went to school, I never considered where I would be in my life now. I never thought that my career options would be limited by the fact that I have an education degree. I have a B.S. in Middle Childhood Education from a small liberal arts college that I attended close to home. I love being a teacher, even though my position now lends itself to more of an educational consultant-ish role.work-smart-and-hard-with-sticker-6-18-2013-2

But I do wish that I would have pursued a more hands-on, minds-on approach to career and technical education (aka: CTE) courses. I recall back to my days at Gahanna Middle School West in a wood shop classroom. We learned CAD and created name blocks for our desks. I know that I made at least 4 of them for my friends and to keep for myself. This was my first experience with fabrication and I wish that I would have put the stereotype that females “weren’t good at this” out of my mind and pursued wood shop further.

Now that I am still not sure what I “want to be when I grow up”, I am finding that my options are limited because of my lack of foundational skills because I spent so much time in education classes instead of science classes at the college level. My content knowledge in the subjects I teach is equivalent to having 2 minors (I am certified to teach Technology, English, and Science in Virginia at the middle school level). I would like to go back to school to earn an associated degree in engineering, but I have so little math content into my major classes at Otterbein, I am scared that an associate’s degree would take way longer because practical knowledge does not compensate for a pretty penny that is a college class about “Star Trek”. Not kidding. Doug took that class at Trinity College in Hartford.

Why is the fact that I can operate a 3D printer not enough content knowledge to find a job in fabrication? Why is it that nobody considers that fact I can format webpages and utilize web design and honestly have a pretty good eye for design enough experience? When are practical experience and CTE classes going to get the credit they so deserve? I never though that making myself marketable for a job after college would also make me pigeon-holed into a career, I’m truly not sure that I want to do anymore.

If I feel this way, how can we expect out 14-year-old students to be scheduling their entire coursework through high school?  There are guidance counselors that truly do not care to understand the need for the highly skilled worker that is only created is we encourage students to look into technical colleges or high schools. This is really important. Guidance counselors need to understand the DIRE situation our country is in. Our workforce is more skilled than the students we are producing in the K-12 pipeline at this time.  Why can’t we work smart AND hard. Does it have to be either/or?

Snow Day Reflection

I had been planning on blogging again last week. The endings of the weeks tend to get away from me. I like it that way though. I tend to ease into the week and last week, I ended work at Bedford Science and Technology Center helping run a tour for seventh grade students at a middle school within the county I work in. I even got to introduce the CTE programs at the high school. I really got a chance to tell my story to these students. I got to tell them that CTE may be a greta way to go in the beginning.

My blogging goal will be 2+ post a week. If you would like to receive this blog in email form, there is a small plus with the “Follow” text sign in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, click it and receive updates for when I post new ones.

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Work station at the apartment

Did you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day? We did here. Nothing but cards, which is the way we both prefer it. No fuss. No hassle. Being with the person you love day in and day out is gift enough. Sappy, I know. But we got lift tickets for an excursion to Wintergreen Ski Resort next weekend and I officially have brand new ski boots, poles, skis are mounted to bindings, and all my equipment is ready to roll! Thank you to Doug who got it all for me for my 29th birthday last month.

If you check out the About tab at the top of the page, you will hear my professional story. My personal one has been a whole lot more of a saga. I really do think it would fit nicely into an Emily Giffin novel. I have never had my personal life tied up into a nice, neat bow. Although I adored donning ribbons in my hair, my love life has certainly entertained a fair amount of drama. I moved South to Chatham, Virginia to work at Hargrave Military Academy, and was there for 5 years. After the 1st year being down there, I broke up with my college boyfriend, who was a mathematics instructor at the time at Hilton Head Prep School on the Island. I had wonderful musings of staying together the first year and joining him on the island when the school year was over. Of course the first of many wrinkles that needed ironed occurred. After spending a month on the island with him, I realized it was over. It was messy and ugly with the conclusion being that he would resolve to attend seminary school while answering “a calling” he was receiving.

After, it seems my self-worth was at an all-time low. I went on dating string of awful people who decided that using me would help them feel better about themselves. The worst part of all, was I let them do it. It was like I was slowly watching a car crash happen and could do nothing to stop it. I knew I deserved better, something more. Where was my happy ending?

Five years later, I decided to join a dating site, Match.com. After about 10 days into being on the site and 1 date that went so-so, I saw a profile that peaked my interest “DougEFresh” or something like that. Pretty modest username, I know. He and I appeared to have similar life outlooks in a very conservative area of the country. Which is pretty rare. After “poking” him, I don’t remember what the match.com equivalent of poking was, he messaged me. I gave him my phone number, and he tried to text message me. No answer. He messaged me again on the match.com app. I realized I gave him the wrong phone number (615 instead of 614).

His persistence told me that he really wanted to meet me, so we met up on a Saturday in June at Perky’s for dinner. All 6’4″ of him walked in wearing pick shorts and a baby blue polo shirt. We talked and laughed for hours. I twas a wonderful first date.  The waitress decided to ignore me and only flirt with him throughout the meal. Our story of romance begins with steaks and now we live together in Lynchburg, Virginia and are happy together. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the one for me.

That is my sappy snow day reflection.

 

 

A Leap

Hello, world. I have felt very stagnant about this starting a blog process. And, to be honest, I have been thinking about it for about 4 years. I have always affiliated myself with the district that I was working in at the time, but I really think that the blogging process should be about a audience greater than the teachers that I serve in a nearby county to Lynchburg, Virginia. I have tried Tumblr, Blogger, and Google Sites for work-related projects. However, this blog will be hosted by only me via WordPress.

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“Be Smart” Pencils. 

At the root of TeachTechGrl, I will share many different educational technology resources, screencasts, and general events that provoke a push of the nerd glasses up the bridge of my
(and hopefully your) nose. I am going to only post pictures, beliefs, and videos that I have myself made. Although I love social bookmarking, I am at a point where I believe it is necessary to post artifacts of my creation instead of curation.

Why does what I say matter? I wonder what the answer to this question will be. Perhaps, in time the answer will become clearer.