Friday, July 1, 2011

FACS Mentorship Program

For the last two years I have participated in the CTE Family and Consumer Sciences Mentorship Program sponsored by the Colorado Community College System. This program has provided many resources for me during my first years of teaching. The world of Career and Technical Education is a wonderful outlet for students to apply everyday work in the classroom to situations they will face in the real world. I believe CTE programs are an extremely valuable piece to a well-rounded education for today’s students. With that being so simply said, understanding how to make your own CTE program thrive and survive is not as easy. There are so many regulations and practices, that to a new teacher can be extremely overwhelming. Especially when the lively hood of your program is on the line.

Through the help of my mentor teacher, the other experienced teachers and professionals I have met, the information we have to understand has been broken down and explained in ways that make more sense. From things like how to tweak a lesson to make it better, tips about classroom management, sharing lesson plans to things like what a follow up report is, what VE135’s are, how we get Perkins money and what we can and can not spend it on. The other helpful part about mentorship, is meeting with the other mentees. It makes you feel normal to not understanding everything right away, and knowing other new teachers are going through the same trials and tribulations as you is comforting. And then seeing how successful the mentor teachers are, gives me optimism that one day everything will get easier (hopefully)

There are days when everything really clicks and makes sense, and days when I feel totally lost and confused about running a CTE program. It is so easy for the little things to slip past you when you have a whirlwind of other things goings on (like teaching). But through the mentorship program I have been able to establish relationships with people I trust will know the answer, and help guide me through those tough, confusing, and overwhelming times. I find the network of people willing and wanting to help me be successful as a teacher growing bigger every year. And because of my interactions with all these wonderful people I know they have my and my program’s best interest at heart. I trust them, and am not afraid to admit when I don’t know the answer with them, which is not always easy to do.

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