Magazine article Techniques

Recognizing Classroom Innovators: Celebrating CTE Month in Your Community

Magazine article Techniques

Recognizing Classroom Innovators: Celebrating CTE Month in Your Community

Article excerpt

It's that time of year again! There's a buzz at ACTE headquarters and in classrooms across the country about CTE Month[R] 2015. Here at ACTE, we have been busy planning our own celebrations to recognize classroom innovators--career and technical education (CTE) professionals, students and partners from the community who are paving the way for the future of education and workforce readiness.

Celebrating CTE Month is a fun way to accomplish one of ACTE's core goals: spreading awareness of and appreciation for the importance of CTE through grassroots efforts and by working with the media.

This year, ACTE selected the theme "Recognizing Classroom Innovators" to guide our outreach and activities. The goal in so doing was to include a buzzword that often appears in business, technology and education news coverage--innovation--and apply it to the classroom to shine a light on the leaders who are changing the way students learn. Classroom innovators come in all shapes and sizes, whether it's a student who advances his or her classroom discussions in a unique way and finds new ways to apply newfound skills, or a business leader who makes hands-on learning a priority for his or her organization and provides students with a meaningful workplace-learning opportunity.

CTE Leads the Way: Seeing Students in Action

To prepare for CTE Month, we've been working with our champions on Capitol Hill to get the word out among policymakers that February is CTE Month. And we've worked with schools and students across the country to promote CTE through our PSA contest by having entrants create a public service announcement incorporating the CTE Month logo and theme. However, our favorite part of CTE Month is the opportunity to arrange a school visit for local leaders and members of the media, which helps to spread awareness of what today's CTE classrooms look like.

Whether held during CTE Month or another time of year, school visits provide great opportunities to demonstrate CTE students' skills, and these visits fit in perfectly with this year's theme. By introducing the public to innovators in your schools, you can make a positive difference in the way they think about CTE, as well as the way that CTE is reported on by the media. School visits also build awareness among students and parents in your community of the fantastic programs that are available to them.

Whether it's organizing the event, coordinating with classrooms and/or inviting attendees, planning a CTE Month school visit can seem like a daunting task. However, a little strategizing before you start organizing the event can go a long way.

We've compiled the following tips to help you get ready for your event and make CTE Month 2015 a success. Even if you can't get the visit done this month, don't worry. The following practices are ever-green:

1. Set a date. Start by determining a date that will work for you and your colleagues to have visitors in the school building. Do your best to make sure that all the necessary parties will be available during the event, including school administrators, educators and career and guidance counselors. To ensure that your attendees will have the best chance of being able to attend, it's often helpful to plan around other major community events and holidays, as well as to avoid Mondays and Fridays--days when some people will be out of the office or busy with meetings. …

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