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Are Career Technical Educators "Real" Teachers?

Are Career Technical Educators "Real" Teachers?

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According to practically all credible sources of labor statistics, the largest number of present and future jobs with the best pay will require technical skills. Many of these jobs require only a two-year associate’s degree or an apprenticeship certificate. Electricians, plumbers, nurses and many other jobs are in high demand and pay salaries which are comparable and many times higher than those which require 4-year Bachelor’s Degrees. Sonia Nieto often discusses in her book,"What Keeps Teachers Going", how teachers are disrespected by society. However, Career and Technical Educators are often looked down upon and disrespected not only in the larger community but within education itself. Will the Education community ever wake up and realize that Career Technical Educators are teachers too?

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Paraprofessional's picture

I think Mr.Young is right.The career and tech teachers do not get credit for being a teacher. They teacher just as well as our academic teachers do.Some times it is even harder in those classes than it is in the academic classes.

Diane Reeves's picture
Diane Reeves
Author and Publisher of Project-Based Career Exploration Resources

CTE is where students learn to connect what they learn from "academic" teachers with the real world. Invaluable in many ways!

Cindy Frye's picture
Cindy Frye
High School Special Education Teacher

I am constantly amazed at the number of people within our community, state and country for that matter that consider teachers to have "soft" jobs or we get too much time off. Truth is all the days we have off are not paid. All teachers whether academic, athletic, vocational, technical, ROTC, Media Specialist special ed, or paraprofessionals are extremely loyal to there jobs and want to do the best for ALL of our students. It is time that everyone is looked upon equally and nurtured equally. Teachers are our kids best assets. We as teachers and we as parents need to understand that all kids need the very best!!!

DJ Bennett's picture
DJ Bennett

I completely agree with Mr. Young. It's a shame that as professionals all charged with fostering the growth of our students we let competition get in the way of what we need to be doing. Different types of courses are necessary as we attempt to provide every student with what they individually need to grow. These needs might be met by a construction class, a literature class, an economics class, or so on. Everyone has a job to do and instead of trying to put each other down, education professionals should recognize each other as allies with a common goal. Different students need different things and as long as we're teaching courses that meet these needs, no one should be looked down upon as anything less than necessary to our schools.

Samuel Young's picture
Samuel Young
High School Construction Teacher from Winder, Georgia

I must say that I am thankful that many of you have responded to this blog. While my intent was to raise awareness to this issue I must say that the teachers, administrators and staff at Apalachee High School and Barrow County Schools have definitely made me feel welcome and comfortable since arriving two years ago.

I truly wish that all CTE teachers can experience this type of support where ever they are.

Joey Alfonso's picture

I think that most all teachers who teach elective classes have felt this way at some point in time. We have the perception from the "academic" world that what we do as educators is not as important as what they do. I had a "academic" teacher want to take a student out of my class this year to make up work that they missed in hers. I asked if she would be allowed to miss her class the next day to make up what she was going to miss in mine. She thought it was a joke. It's up to us to change the perception of the general public. We are teaching the future general public right now. It starts with the students that we teach. If they think elective courses are a joke, then they will continue to be in the future.

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation

[quote]I understand your view. As a special education professional I have heard other teachers referred to as real teachers. [/quote]

I know ... I've heard them called "regular" teachers, too. What??

Ann Flynn's picture
Ann Flynn
Director, Education Technology for NSBA

Many vocational education programs have experienced a greater transformation than other content areas. Yet, individuals less familiar with those changes still imagine a vocational experience perhaps similiar to one that existed when they were in school and which - in many cases - did not offer the level of rigor found in many of today's programs. There's a real need to help policy makers and school leaders recognize those changes and fully embrace the educators who support students in those programs. That awareness building will be a part of the National School Boards Association's T+L Conference next October in Phoenix designed for leadership teams that focus on all aspects of technology across a district.

Don Morgan's picture
Don Morgan
Georgia High School Engineering & Technology teacher

I teach every subject taught in our school, just as every Career/Tech teacher does! Just because my classes are not required does not subtract from their value.In fact,some of my students that just finished the Science EOCT said that having taken my Foundations of Eng. & tech. class made the Science test easier!

Dave Cornelius's picture
Dave Cornelius
EDream Designer and professional development trainer.

Don't get me started. I've been a Career Tech Ed teacher my entire career.

My last group of 27 CTE seniors prior to joining the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University earned $1.25 million in merit scholarships. They averaged 12 hours of college credit each prior to leaving high school. They had already worked in at least 2 professional internships and had higher aggregate scores on the Arizona AIMS tests than even their AP and honors peers. They were awarded 50 state, regional and national award for media production in that year alone.

CTE works and CTE teachers work harder.

The discussion I have with all counselors and silo bound academics starts with "What are you preparing your students to do?" Once you get down to the Relevance and Relationships part of education it becomes obvious that all of us are Career Tech Educators. That includes the musicians, lawyers, scientists, doctors, writers, historians and yes even the philosophers.

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