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Think of blogs as self-published mini articles. Share your experiences and challenges. Share your successful and failed strategies. Share your proven techniques and best practices. And don’t forget to solicit comments from your peers so we can all learn from the collective knowledge and expertise of our thriving community.

Small Steps Moving Toward Big Collaboration

High school leaders visiting a school with career academies or team teaching cannot help but be impressed with student engagement and enthusiasm for their projects. While this level of collaboration is impressive, the reaction is often that the level of collaboration might work in that school but certainly not with their school. Visiting principals reflect on how most high school teachers are comfortable with their subject and see little need to reach out to work with others. High levels of integration among academic and CTE teachers take time and must be a gradual process rather than a large-scale change. It… >>>

Deepen Student Learning in Thinking Skills Using CTE Advisory Committees

Every CTE teacher understands the importance of having an active advisory committee of local employers and community members. Developing relationships with these individuals and working regularly with them is critical to the success of CTE programs. Advisory committees can support programs with recommendations for off-site learning experiences, serve as judges for assessments, suggest state-of-the-art equipment, locate professional development opportunities for teachers to remain current, and also offer student work-based learning sites. To learn more about best practices working with Advisory Committees, use the ACTE CTELearn course Leveraging Community Resources to Energize CTE. 

However, it is the advice of advisory… >>>

What is Rigorous CTE and Why Is It Important?

Rigorous describes something rigid and difficult, and imposes hardship, such as taking a rigorous hike. Some might avoid rigorous tasks such as weeding a garden to avoid hardship. Others might embrace a rigorous physical workout because the goal of athletic performance drives them. Tasks can be categorized by degrees of rigor, and each person chooses whether to embrace or avoid rigorous tasks based on their goals.

When rigorous is applied in education, the term means something slightly different from difficult, arduous tasks.  Rigorous education is not more physically difficult or necessarily a more extended test or exotic and difficult questions.… >>>

Sharing Practices Through Social Media

We learn from each other. Share your effective practices in Integrating Academic with CTE among other teachers.  Part of being a professional educator is sharing with colleagues. The CareerEd Lounge is a good tool for posting links and discussions as a virtual way of sharing. Another great tool is Twitter; easy to use and reach colleagues with common interests by including specific topics using hashtags #. Twitter is a form of rapid communication, but by using hashtags, it becomes a searchable database of all related information.

When posting information on a practice related to the Integration of Academics and CTE,… >>>

Taking a Spin With ChatGPT

Much has been posted in education circles on the innovative AI tool ChatGPT. Is it a way for students to cheat? Is it a teaching tool? Should educators ignore it? In five decades of experience, I have seen educators embrace many forms of technology, and some were always reluctant. I took ChatGPT for a spin to try it out. After using ChatGPT, I believe this is an easy-to-use tool to improve writing and save time. Teachers are likely to use this more than students doing tasks such as writing teaching scenarios, content for online courses, and student feedback. ChatGPT and… >>>

Addressing the Problem of Different Student Reading Levels

Reading is essential for continual learning and career readiness. Dedicated reading instruction occurs in the elementary grades, but there is little formal instruction at the secondary level. Subject teachers must be aware of student reading levels when assigning student work. Students with low reading comprehension often struggle in secondary subjects; this is particularly a challenge for CTE teachers. Teaching reading in the content area improves students’ reading proficiency, and CTE teachers must incorporate reading and vocabulary strategies into their instruction. Reading achievement data can help teachers determine when it is critical to use these strategies. In addition, teachers should use… >>>

Better Preparing New CTE Teachers in Mississippi by Promoting Academic Integration

Academic integration strategies play an important part in student success, so teaching strategies related to academic integration are shared, discussed, and modeled through a program for alternate route CTE teachers in Mississippi. Training teachers to enforce academic integration in the CTE classroom improves the student's use of critical thinking in a contextual setting which in turn better prepares them for their future.

Strategies such as guided notes, mind mapping, word walls, exit slips, and Venn Diagrams, are modeled to incorporate literacy. Math integration concepts such as a classroom economy system, current events, alphabet math, chunking, and think-solve-pair-share are also enforced… >>>

Finding Ways for Both Career/Tech and Academics

The Academic Integration committee is exploring ways to expand the integration of academic standards and instruction with Career and Technical instruction. Academic subjects of Math, Science, English, and Social Studies are separate subjects with separately certified teachers. CTE as well exists as separate subjects with unique teacher certifications. In state regulation, these are separate parts of secondary schools possessing their own curriculum. In practice, there is often instructional overlap. For example, as math teachers seek context for using geometry, they assign students technical problems or when Automotive teachers stress measuring with precision. Yet, states set graduation requirements based on earning… >>>