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Hudson High School

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CTE Month Success Story from a Vocational Teacher at Hudson High School

My role as a vocational teacher was an unexpected transition from being a director at a fast-growing fortune 500 company in the twin cities area. UW-Stout took my skills and transferred my knowledge into a rigorous curriculum-filled certification as a highly qualified business & marketing teacher. I started with an emergency license while working at Somerset Schools, then grew my teachings skills, programs, and courses from there.

As a strong advocate for CTE, I looked for outside organizations to channel my energies as a volunteer. It is important to tie our programs into the community, right? Working with a non-profit organization, BDPA, I was able to help young business professionals teach students to code and find career placement.

Then I started doing adjunct work for a nearby university, enjoying the full range of delivery systems and academic levels. I've since taught college level Marketing, Economics, Web Design, Business Communications, Finance, and will soon be teaching Accounting, too (both blended and online). These experiences have helped me gain a better understanding of what the work force needs and how we can prepare our students, regardless of their ages.

With the understanding that K-12 education generally promotes Google over the more technical Microsoft Office, it was incumbent of me to find an efficient way to engage students in the higher rigor of Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access. Several parents encouraged me to continue to push for business rigor found in the workplace, such as Microsoft suite. After checking around a bit, the DPI guided me to the MS Imagine Academy who then set up my online courses; within a few days my students were telling me how much they enjoyed the modules, demos, and learning tutorials.

As part of articulation and dual credit, MS Imagine Academy has provided an affordable, effective way to incorporate higher learning paced for each individual. The students were immediately able to translate their learning to applied projects in class. I'm so happy with the product and the enthusiasm the students have for it.

As an educator trying to meet the demands of rigor, relevance, standards, engagement, ongoing professional development, community involvement, CTSO's, and more with a limited budget, I'm so happy to share this story with other educators.