Hello, everyone, and welcome!
I started this blog and Facebook page because, well, I’ve found my first eight years of teaching high school to be a little frustrating. I entered vocational education because I thought I would be teaching students who wanted to learn a trade instead of going to college. At the very least, I thought my classes would be a back-up plan for students whose college experience didn’t work out or were a springboard into a related post-secondary course of study. So far, such students have accounted for an extremely small percentage of my classes.
One thing I have learned in the past eight years is that I am not alone. Through various professional development seminars, workshops, college courses, etc., I’ve spoken to other teachers in Career and Technical Education (CTE; the new name for “vocational” and “shop” classes) who are experiencing the same situation. Like me, their classes are filled with disinterested students who simply chose CTE programs because they want to avoid academic classes as much as possible.
So, I’m hoping through this blog CTE teachers (myself included) will be better able to understand, and prepare for, our rapidly changing students. I want this blog to be a repository for advice, articles, etc., that can offer documented guidance in improving our classroom experience. I don’t want it to become a “bitch” session where we vent our frustrations; I don’t want to see comments about administrators, school policy, or the “quality” of our students. Such a site would only be preaching to the choir.
I do want to hear about your experiences, good and bad, and what you did to enhance or fix them. I want to see comments which include references to academic articles that address specific relative information. I want us to collaborate to help make our teaching experiences better.
Thank you for reading this far, and I hope that you’ll find this blog to be useful.
I welcome your feedback.
John Paone, MBA, MEd