Summer PD Series: Collaborative Assessments and Better Rubric Making

My Post

My second round of leading professional development this summer centered on improving career and technical education (CTE) teachers’ approach to rubric creation for various projects and assignments in their classrooms. Today’s post maps out the lesson I used and much like the last post on building relationships with students, explains some of the ‘why’ behind my pedagogical moves.

This post will be of particular interest to anyone interested in accessing a plug-and-play rubric tool and gaining insight into improve a rubrics relevance and specificity to their classroom.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Student Voices: Intern Edition “The Benefits of WBL”

Student Voices

by Constance S.

“I’d say the real-world experience and accountability were large benefits of this program.”

It began with class enrollment for my senior year. The thought of “What in the world should I choose?” seemed to echo in my mind as I skimmed the list of courses. I pondered over them; would they be beneficial towards my life post-high school? None of them seemed to be what I was looking for. It wasn’t until I heard about an internship that I felt hopeful about my electives. If I didn’t make it in: fine. I’d just have to learn piano for my last year of high school. Continue reading

Student Voices: Intern Edition “Alignment of the Stars”

Student Voices

by Brendan C.

My name is Brendan. I’m a graduating senior at Lanier High School. During this past year, I’ve been taking part in Work-Based Learning, or WBL, a class taught by Dr. Kyle Jones, the author of this blog. This class encourages students to get out into a field of their choice to learn vital skills through a job, internship, or other form of work. To be completely honest, it’s been one of my favorite classes out of the entire four years I’ve been in high school. Continue reading

Authentic Learning in CTE: An Exercise Physiology Project Launch Combines Content, Data, and Real Athletes

20180112_095018.jpg

I have become a bit of a jack of all trades in the last four years, including becoming a career and technical education (CTE) teacher and now department chair. One of my goals this year was to increase my teachers’ capacity for innovative instruction and project-based learning (PBL). While some of my teachers need more traditional support for classroom management and instructional planning, I have several who are wading deep into the PBL waters. One such teacher is one of our health occupations teachers, Mr. S. Mr. S is teaching the third level class of the Healthcare Pathway named Exercise Physiology. The class can end in students achieving national certification as a personal trainer recognized anywhere and certifying them to work in any gym. The work is technical and heavy in vocabulary, jargon, and math, which can be off-putting for students no matter how engaged they are with going into the healthcare field. So Mr. S and I started planning a project that would authenticate the processes and jargon they were learning through application with very real clients–some of the school’s student athletes. Continue reading

Under-prepared? Distracted? Overwhelmed?: The Role of CTE and Internships as Laboratories for Work and Life

laboratory

I feel acknowledging my blog’s sudden turn toward Career and Technical Education (CTE) and my state’s Work-Based Learning (WBL) program is important. I have a few ideas marinating for the blog concerning my more traditional focus on project-based learning and literacy, but for the next few posts, I am going to dive even further into reflecting on the role of students participating in CTE courses, internships, potential benefits, and what must be done for those benefits to materialize for more students. My first post on the subject was a few weeks ago. I lamented the challenges I saw my 11th and 12th grade students face to really prepare for an internship and the workforce. Today’s post has some similarities, but I now put the critical lens on myself and other CTE educators.

Why? Well as the title suggests, my WBL students this year are a combination of under-prepared, distracted, and overwhelmed. The first adjective is mine. I have to own my conjecture that my students are under-prepared based on my observations from the last month. I also own it because I am one of the reasons they appear unprepared. The second adjective society must own. I know I feel distracted. My phone distracts me; my email distracts me; television distracts me. But what my frontal lobe affords me that my students’ does not is impulse control. I can typically make a conscious effort to walk away from those distractions. My students, as a product of the world they inhabit (one they’ve had little say in shaping might I remind you), are distracted, but their distractions far outweigh mine as an adult. The last adjective belongs to them. They use this word to describe themselves. The reason I get most from my students to why they do not complete a task, communicate clearly, or avoid responsibility is they mention feeling overwhelmed.

So what’s the solution? We are. Educators are. I am. Continue reading