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The AES CTE Blog

The latest ideas, tips, and trends for CTE, career readiness, business education, and computer applications teachers.

Blog Feature

Empathy | Soft Skills

Top 7 Best Empathy Lesson Plans and Why You Need Them

By: Chris Zook
January 10th, 2019

Over the past decade, teaching empathy has surged in popularity across United States education. Some schools may not teach it yet. Others may teach it as early as elementary schools. Some even give it a shot in middle schools and high schools. But why is empathy important to teach? Isn’t it something that people are just born having? And if you do have to teach it, how can you teach a soft skill that's so conceptual and non-concrete? In this blog post, we’ll answer all of those questions so you can start teaching empathy tomorrow!

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Blog Feature

Communication Skills | Soft Skills | Middle School

4 Best Communication Lesson Plans for Middle School

By: Bri Stauffer
December 20th, 2018

With texting and messaging apps at their fingertips, today’s middle school students can communicate more quickly and easily than ever. However, text-based messaging doesn’t have the added benefits of vocal tone, face-to-face conversation, or context that past generations may have taken for granted. This means middle school teachers need lesson plans and activity ideas to bridge that gap in communication skills.

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Keeping Students Engaged in CTE: Part 1

Do you struggle to keep your students engaged during your lessons?

Download this free eBook to learn the Do's & Dont's of Student Engagement.

Blog Feature

21st Century Skills | Soft Skills | Career Skills | Life Skills | Employability Skills

Life Skills vs. Soft Skills vs. Career Skills vs. Employability Skills — What Are the Differences?

By: Chris Zook
June 14th, 2018

Today, teachers throughout the United States are focusing more on prepping their students for their future careers. Some teachers do this by creating a life skills curriculum. Others make a soft skills curriculum. Sometimes, they made a career skills or employability skills curriculum. Surprisingly, all of these teachers mean the same thing – they just have different ways of saying it! That means some wires got crossed somewhere.

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Soft Skills | Career Readiness | Customer Service Lesson Plans

How to Teach Customer Service in High School

By: Bri Stauffer
March 15th, 2018

Good customer service skills are crucial to success in any career path. Unfortunately, teaching customer service in high school isn’t easy, especially when you want to engage your students! These five points will show you the best ways to teach customer service skills to high school students:

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Blog Feature

Soft Skills | Career and Technical Education | Career Readiness

Tips for Teaching the Importance of Soft Skills

By: Sarah Layton
June 2nd, 2015

Have you been giving fair and deliberate attention to the importance of soft skills in your courses? Do you buy in to the importance of soft skills? They're crucial for any individual's professional development. The sooner someone can learn soft skills, the better they'll adapt to a job, career, and workplace.  But that's only the beginning. Soft skills have thousands of applications in the workplace, and they're just as useful as "hard" skills.  Here's why.

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Blog Feature

Soft Skills | Career Readiness | Communication Skills

Quick Guide to Teaching Workplace Readiness Skills

By: Sarah Layton
April 15th, 2015

Is the pressure on you to better prepare students with work readiness skills? Join the club of teachers looking to develop or expand their workplace readiness skills curriculum. I once compared my daughter's soccer team's lack of conditioning to skipping out on soft skills in the classroom. "Sadly, their awesome soccer skills have little value on the field if they don’t have the speed or endurance to play the game. In the same way, leaving soft skills lesson plans out of your courses puts your students at a disadvantage in the workplace." Make sure your students are going to be able to compete in the workplace!

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