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Friday, November 6, 2015

Health Technnology Students on Clinicals

Being an Ohio career center superintendent gives me great pleasure because we do so many good things for students. Basically they learn skills to become employed in a variety of occupations. For instance, this week our Health Technology seniors are out on clinical experiences at Vancrest nursing home in Van Wert, 6:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. for two days. Our two instructors are experienced RNs, which qualifies them to become licensed to teach the health tech curriculum to high school students. Our students earn their STNA license, which requires this clinical experience on the job in a real health care facility.

Ohio's alternative teacher licensure program can only be entered upon employment by a career center to teach in a career technical program. So our teachers represent all sorts of occupations, many with 10-20 years of great hands on experience in welding, precision machining, culinary arts, cosmetology--and the list goes on. But learning to teach your trade or occupation to high school juniors and seniors doesn't come naturally to all. Our new CTE teachers must figure out how to relay the skill and wisdom they've learned over the years, while doing the myriad of tasks that we in education know all too well. Just think about a welder reporting to school in August, facing 25 high school juniors to who he will teach welding for two years.

Where does he/she start? That's why we have a solid alternative licensure program in Ohio to steer them through the crazy first years. And good administrators know how to support new teachers-- the new college grads gripping their first teaching license, AND the 40 year-old precision machinist who was hired to teach his trade.

Classroom management, parent conferences, even adapting to how best to address attendance or tardy issues with a student, disciplinary procedures. . .educators know the importance of doing these things well. But it often takes practice. Our alternatively licensed CTE teachers in Ohio juggle the daily teaching world and then take 25 semester hours of college coursework in education over two years to earn the alternative license. Remember they also are writing lesson plans, grading papers, planning field trips, advising their program's student leadership organization, such as FFA, Business Professionals of America, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and Ohio SkillsUSA.
And in Ohio, our alternatively licensed teachers must complete the Ohio Resident Educator program, to qualify for their five-year license, allowing them to continue to teach. Don't forget, folks, these working adults often have families at home, too.

So when I saw the email from one of our health technology teachers, announcing the student roster for clinical placements this week, I quickly added it to my pile of blog topics. Instructor Leigh Carey, R.N., who recently completed all these requirements and earned her five year license, is in her fifth year with our school. I'm pleased, and proud, of all of our teachers because I know what they go through to teach. It feels great to see them complete all the state requirements, and remove some of these hurdles from their daily life. And that's good for kids, theirs at home, and "ours" at school.

Today Matters.
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