If I didn't have Business&ITCenter21, I would be scrambling. I got hired a week and a half before school started, and I'm the football coach as well. A week before school started I was handed a book, but it didn't match what I needed for the course requirements.
Without Business&ITCenter21, I would have just been pulling stuff from online to give the students until we figured out what we would do moving forward.
Rice High School
When your standards change, it can be very time consuming to update your lessons to meet the new requirements for your courses. Scott Hayes from Rice High School in Texas has faced this first-hand when it came to finding curriculum to meet the new CTE TEKS standards for business education courses.
When Scott first started at Rice High School, he was faced with some very outdated textbooks and resources that were practically useless when matching the content up with his requirements. This dilemma caused him to do some searching and he came across Business&ITCenter21, which not only helped meet his standards, but it solved some of his other challenges as well.
Like many new CTE teachers, Scott's first challenge was to ensure his curriculum was up to par and met the requirements of his courses. Unfortunately, when he looked at the existing curriculum he realized it was not up to date with current technology or the TEKS Standards. He knew that using the existing materials was not an option:
"When I came to Rice High School, they had upgraded computers, but not an upgraded curriculum. I decided I wouldn't use any textbooks for BIM 1 because everything we had was so old. We've got Microsoft Office 2016 so I didn't want to go backwards by using those books."
Knowing he needed to find another option, and quickly, Scott searched and found Business&ITCenter21. It was essentially a life saver for him to start off the school year on the right foot with curriculum that was up to date and aligned to the new CTE TEKS standards for his courses.
"If I didn't have Business&ITCenter21, I would be scrambling. I got hired a week and a half before school started, and I'm the football coach as well. A week before school started I was handed a book, but it didn't match what I needed for the course requirements.
Without Business&ITCenter21, I would have just been pulling stuff from online to give the students until we figured out what we would do moving forward."
Before Scott taught at Rice High School his biggest struggle was the amount of time he spent on prep work each week. When he switched schools, he knew that needed to change.
"When I was using textbooks, my Sundays were gone. That was my day for planning and getting everything set up. I'd get started about 1 pm, after church, and it'd be 9 or 10 before I went to bed because I wanted to make sure I had everything ready for the week. Even just making tests and worksheets was pretty labor intensive."
Knowing how stretched for time he was at that school, finding Business&ITCenter21 was a perfect solution. Because Business&ITCenter21 includes pre-made lesson plans, worksheets, activities, and assessments Scott no longer spends his Sundays prepping for the week.
Another challenge Scott faced, like many CTE and elective teachers, was the wide range of student abilities and motivation in the classroom. He has struggled to keep all of his students motivated and moving forward in the lessons, since students all learn in different ways and work at different paces. Luckily with Business&ITCenter21, Scott has been able to better differentiate instruction for his students.
"I have a wide variety of students, which has been one of my biggest challenges. It's hard to keep the students that aren't as motivated moving at the same pace with the rest of the class. With Business&ITCenter21, I can tweak the system for how quickly they get things done."
To help keep students on track, Scott uses the Due Dates feature in Business&ITCenter21. The due dates he puts in are indicators to his students of when they will move on to the next topic. He lets students continue working on the previous lessons as needed, but wants to ensure most of the class keeps moving forward in the curriculum.
"It's nice to be able to monitor the students' progress and see the feedback on where someone struggled and what I can do to help them. Business&ITCenter21 has freed me up to cover more material with the entire class, rather than them waiting on me to get some students caught up. The students can work at their own pace and accomplish the goals set out for them in their own time."
Along with needing differentiation so students could work at their own paces, Scott needed help with his ESL students. Many teachers are faced with increasing numbers of ESL students, but find it tough to ensure these students have the support they need to succeed in the courses.
"Another challenge is that I have several students that don't speak English. When starting the school year they struggled at first. But when we started using Google Translate in conjunction with Business&ITCenter21, it made a huge difference. Every one of them has an A average now. There's now way I would have been able to do that with a textbook."