February was Career and Technical Education Month


This past February was “CTE month,” a time to consider future occupations. Career and Technical Education classes, otherwise known as CTE, range from business to cooking to raising kids. Students learn a plethora of skills and techniques they can begin using now.

Different CTE activities were held throughout the month, such as Job Shadowing Day on February 2, SkillsUSA Week February 7-11, Social Advocacy Day February 17 and National Entrepreneur Week February 19-26.

“Students should take CTE classes because they answer the eternal question of ‘When am I going to ever use this stuff?’ Our classes teach practical skills that students can apply right now and continue to use throughout their lifetime,” said Julie Pennington, Principles of Business and Finance teacher, through an e-mail interview.

Students aspiring to become entrepreneurs would benefit from such a class by learning the basics and preparing to dive into their prospective occupation.

“Principles of Business and Finance… gives students a good introduction to what the working world looks like and how money should be handled – both by businesses and individuals. We cover just about the A-Z’s of business, from Absolute Advantage in International Trade to Zero-Percent Interest Loans, and everything in between!” said Pennington.

Besides business and finance knowledge, learning how to be a good parent is equally important. Even for those who don’t plan on having kids, knowing how to interact with them can come in handy when babysitting or playing with younger cousins, nieces or nephews.

“One must have an educational class and pass a test to get a license to drive a car, but not so to become a parent and it is a huge responsibility.  So having a class to learn about the entire process from conception to birth to raising a child is incredibly important,” said Sharon Underwood, Child Development teacher.

Kailei Trippi, sophomore, is currently taking Child Development. She said she really enjoys the many hands-on activities and group work in class, an aspect which makes the classes more fun. “The teachers definitely made it more exciting,” she said.

Along with projects, guest speakers with first-hand experience come during class to inform students about specific careers. CTE students have fun outside as well; various classes take field trips several times per semester. For example, Early Childhood Education classes intern at a daycare.

Besides the fun students have in the classes, they are also able to make major life-decisions. Teia Robinson teaches Career Management, a perfect place for students to start searching and maybe even discover their particular calling. “In this class students assess their personality and career traits, prepare to enter college or the workforce and explore careers and career paths,” explained Robinson in an e-mail interview.

With technology progressing further every year, it is important to learn how to
utilize the developing computers. Scientific and Technical Visualization teaches how to use programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk 3Ds Max.

“[S]tudents learn how to take complex ideas and information and create graphic representations to make things easier to understand,” said Jeremy Fullbright.

Handling technology, applying for jobs, writing cover letters, resumes, applications, thank-you letters, trouble-shooting, problem solving, critical thinking, public speaking, leadership, collaboration, interview skills, and taking care of children are skills attained in various CTE classes.

Pennington observed, “What I have learned, though, is that this class sticks with students long past their last exam question. I have had past students tell me what they are using from Principles of Business class now that they are in college or are out in the ‘real world.’ It’s nice to see the positive impact the class has had in their lives.”


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