Magazine article Techniques

Straight from the Source

Magazine article Techniques

Straight from the Source

Article excerpt

What do today's career and technical education students think of their learning experiences. Here's some insight from students themselves.

A Fortunate Nudge

By Katrina Miller

I had no choice but to take my first technology education class--it was a required part of my middle school curriculum, and I'm now glad of that. I think it should be a graduation requirement for all high school students, too. But taking that first technology education class turned into much more when I learned about the Technology Student Association (TSA).

At the start of seventh grade, a friend encouraged me to attend the TSA meeting where advisers and members were recruiting new officers. That's when my soon-to-be adviser gave me a nudge that has made all the difference in my education career and outlook on the future. She suggested I attend the TSA Fall Leadership Conference to see what the organization was like.

There, I listened to a speech by a former TSA president who was working toward becoming a technology education teacher. Tonya Vandergriff told us about the TSA offices she had won and her achievements in TSA competitions. She was so poised and passionate, and I knew right then that if she. could do these things, I could too.

Thanks to my career tech courses, TSA and my advisers, I have become technologically literate and accustomed to an ever-changing environment. I've also been exposed to more of the real world through my career tech courses than any other aspect of my education experience. Through my technology education courses, I've learned to solve problems in teams, work different types of machinery and equipment and adapt to new technologies. Through my TSA experiences, I've learned to be confident in my abilities and move forward in my education and career goals.

But none of this would be possible without career and technical educators and advisers.

My home state of Tennessee has one of the strongest TSA programs in the country because our advisers are so active. Which goes to show that it's just as important for teachers to be enthusiastic as it is for students. My advisers cheer for my classmates and me when we win at skills competitions and encourage us toward the next contest if we lose.

I think the most effective way to help students succeed in school is to get them involved. It's important to let them know that every area of career and technical education has at least one student organization that is dedicated to a career tech field--National FFA, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), SkillsUSAVICA and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), for example. Educators who steer students toward these organizations and do their best to keep them there are strengthening the education system and the future workforce at a very basic and important level.

Career and technical education has taught us how to learn, prepared us for change and shown us we should treat change as something good instead of an obstacle. It builds positive attitudes and outlooks on the future.

Katrina Miller, a senior at Powell High School in Powell, Tenn., is the national president of the Technology Student Association (TSA). She plans to major in technology education and become a technology education teacher.

Achieving the Magic "Click"

By Matthew Meuleners

As I look back at my years in public education--particularly as a career and technical education student--I realize there wasn't one magical moment or activity that made it all click for me. It was a combination of positive experiences. …

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