In working with thousands of CTE health science teachers across the US, we have heard many stories about the first year as a new teacher. The challenges range from unengaged students to poor classroom management.
When looking to use our HealthCenter21 curriculum in their health science high school courses, health science instructors often ask questions like: “Do you have any tips for using HealthCenter21 successfully?” and “I have limited technology access… can I still use this curriculum?”
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So you left your industry career to teach. Admirable! But what is it really like for new CTE teachers? While I'd love to say rainbows, unicorns, and engaged students, I hope we all know better! But while it's certainly not all bad, there are a few things that new CTE teachers should be prepared for when stepping into the classroom.
Have you ever asked yourself: How can I teach career readiness skills when I'm not a career readiness expert? Teachers of all types are being asked to incorporate career readiness activities into their curriculum. Add to that that the curriculum must be engaging and with a real-life context for students. Yet teachers do not have as many resources available to help with this content as they do for their specific subject area.
This past week, a CTE director in a large district in Texas was looking for ways to address an issue for them: how to retain high-quality CTE teachers and reduce teacher turnover in their programs. This is a challenge in the Health Science Career Pathway because the best qualified health science CTE teachers are those that have had practical work experience in the medical field. A lot of those jobs pay very well, so there's a challenge to attract them to and keep them in the teaching field.