Saturday, June 7, 2014

Back to the Basics

Why? Why do I do what I do? Why am I in education? I love the moments in life when these questions are answered and when I am challenged to reorder priorities in life. If we don't ask ourselves "Why?" often, we risk getting caught in the How's or even worse, the What's! 

Confused? See the Golden Triangle concept and my blog post on the subject

Okay, now that we are all on the same page, let's talk "Why." This week was nothing short of amazing. Arranged by the district's CTE Director, LYSD hosted a weeklong career camp for high school students from around the region. Applicable in every way, students who attend the week chose from a law enforcement/public safety course, carpentry, welding, and my computer course. Students who joined me for the week learned about computer components, trends and innovation, and career choices in technology. 

As a surprise, the Tech Dept reimaged several iMacs for the students to use while at the camp and then take home with them as a first step down the path of a technology career. Making a choice to learn about software applications and futures in the industry is a great start, but without the right tools, these young people may not make very far. 

Taking the reigns of a classroom again felt amazing! This week was full of smiles, a-ha moments, and genuine achievements. Students learned about computer components, network components, and hardware repairs through habds on practice and a tour of the school. They also met with various colleagues at the District Office and discussed job opportunities in their villages and the school district as a whole. 

By working as a team, this amazing group of young people found successes in a wide variety of challenging situations. Problem-solving skills, decision-making activities, and goal setting projects throughout the week have prepared this bunch for a promising future. Whether or not they choose to persue a field directly related to technology, I am confident they will succeed. 

Interviews with industry leaders and professionals in the field were planned daily. The students listened intently and asked some great questions. We spoke to engineers, managers, owners, designers, artists, and technicians from a range of backgrounds. Communicating via Skype, our guests were from the East Coast to Alaska sharing a wealth of knowledge pertaining to life choices and their own experiences. 

One thing is for certain: the future is bright and these young people have what it takes. Should they choose to expand their minds and accept the challenge, they will have plenty of help along the way. Thank you to those who made this camp possible and for giving me the chance to lead young people toward positive adult lives. My gratitude is simply not enough for the guests that joined us, and I hope some day they will see the fruits of their labor in the future success of the young minds they helped to shape. Have a great summer, this is the official end of the 2013-2014 school year.