Archive for July, 2009

August Auto Teacher News

July 31, 2009

I hope you were fortunate enough to attend the NACAT conference in Charlotte this past July. The very best in training, teachers and fun for all was there. The staff at CCPC was awesome. The fellow teachers were wonderful and almost all my heroes were there. The presentations were as they should be; on the cutting edge of technology, informative with all the latest and greatest explained in detail by the authors and creators. Very much an enjoyable and restoring week. As one of the seven principles of Covey “Sharpening the Saw” is important if we are to do a good job of serving our customers. See the NACAT.org web site for more on the great workshops we enjoyed! Many times during the week I was reminded about how important it is for us to rely on each other. No one else knows the difficulty of the duties of an auto teacher. The vendor that has never been in a classroom of teenagers does not have a clue as to why his great product won’t meet our needs until classroom control can be achieved. The engineer that can expound for hours on the inner workings of the automobile and can’t build working professional relationships with students is at a loss to explain why he/she can’t seem to hold a student’s attention. The academic teacher that has never had to deal with the retail customer driven world can’t understand our passion for excellance in our teaching. We know that the automobile owner will hold their auto techncian and service center to a higher standard than their Doctor. We know that our students don’t care what we know until they know we care.
If you were able to attend Jeff Curtis’ presentation you now know how not to do a power point. If you attended the NATEF training for ETL’s you now know how important the integrity of the evaluator is for the validation of all our programs. Many of the teachers I spoke with are sincerely concerned with the state of our industry. Many new teachers were there and that is good, but it only means we have more to do in the nurturing and support of these new teachers. There is a lot we need to know to do this teaching, way more than new ways to do a volt drop test that I learned or to safely train our students to service Hybrids in an excellent fast paced class by Craig. There is a lot to know and a lot to learn. I am thankful for NACAT and all they do for us.
We all mourn the passing of one of my heroes, Fred Hines and we see the retirement of many good teachers each year. Where will the new champions come from? We must nurture and protect our new teachers.
Share! Enjoy! Create! Celebrate!

Best wishes for the school year………….

Sonny Reeves http://www.autoteacher.net/ http://www.nacat.com/

New Blog

July 30, 2009

I am trying to keep up with technology by adding this blog. I have been doing a news letter for all my friends just by email each month. I will now try the use of this blog and continue the news letter by email to those that request it. My web site will remain the same and grow.

Hope this works and we can all share

Seeya,
Sonny http://www.autoteacher.net/

December 2008 Auto teacher News

July 30, 2009

Auto teachers news letter Dec 12, 2008

One of the things I do is visit all of my business advisers each month. I would like to visit some of them more often but I don’t always have time. Some of them save up electrical parts for me and I carry a plastic parts storage box around as I visit to leave and pick up the full one. You can never have enough electrical parts to show and tell your students.

Monday I visited the *** dealer that employs several of my students. The service manager greeted me with this line. “We had to let a technician go this week because we are low on work”.

My face fell because I knew what was coming. Then he said “ We would not let one your students go they are to valuable!” I was relived to see that all three of my students have secure positions with the dealership.

What makes the difference in my students vs a technician that graduated from one of the highly advertised national private technical schools?

I teach work ethics from the first day. I use the model after the seven habits of highly successful people.
I teach attitude is everything and use the “Evaluation“ form for 30% of the students grade.

Each week of the course I teach a ten minutes on the ten qualities of work ethics employers value most.

I use a handout to give each student a opportunity to evaluate their own attitude each day. The handout gives the student a visual reminder of the seven habits. The students attitude and their ability to improve on their attitude is affected by what they know of my expectations. Most improve, some don’t but remember we can’t save them all.

More next news letter.

Jan Auto teacher News

July 30, 2009

Auto teachers news letter January 29, 2009

I post a few of my class videos on Teacher Tube for sharing with everyone. While posting a few weeks ago I ran across “Power Teaching Demonstration.” I was not impressed when I first viewed the short clips. Then I went to the web site for Power Teaching and downloaded the PDF document that goes into detail about the technique. I revisited the videos and decided to try a few of the methods on my class of teenagers. Wow! What a change in the perspective of my students toward the class assignments especially homework. I used to require one homework of a written technical summary of an article the student has read concerning automotive see writing assignment on this page

Class Papers
I sometimes did not get homeworks done on time or not at all. The classes were inconsistent about the homework. Well I did not change the writing assignment nor did I allow for excuses in turning the homework in on time. What I did was add up to FIVE homeworks a week and almost all have been turned in on time. The classes are doing 2-3 homeworks directly related to the next day’s lesson each week and it has made a huge difference in learning. The students are focused and more responsible for their own learning. Not a perfect world yet but this technique has more effect than any I have observed or tried myself in 15 years of teaching. I am using the attention getting method and the homework system.

I am still using the “Teamworks” I borrowed from Jeff Curtis

http://www.teachertube.com
To see my class videos type in “Hutchings” in the search on Teacher Tube.
To see Power teaching type in “Chris Biffle” or “power teaching demonstration.”

More next news letter.

Sonny www.autoteacher.net

Feb-March Auto Teacher News

July 30, 2009

Got any spare change? How do you raise funds for your lab if the budget is zero$$?

My supervisor recently for the third year in arrow informed me my budget was zero. I said at least that is a number. I openly solicit donations of any kind form the public, parents, dealerships and club/civic groups. I ask for time to present about my program at Rotary, Lions and Exchange club meetings. Take a few students and BEG! Sometimes I don’t get anything, sometimes I do. We get the cars and what ever, fix it up learn from it, change the title to the school and sell it. All the money goes into my automotive/SkillsUSA fund. We charge for oil changes and other service work we do for teachers and staff.

This year we need to do a recruitment drive for our program. We want to do a summer camp for non traditional student to explore our career fields. We needed lots of money to do this. You know it is a part of Perkins? Yet it is not funded?????
I went online to www.grants.gov and saw a grant for the exact thing we wanted to do.

Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Education Program (GAMTTEP) Grant.

Well after we wrote it and submitted we are looking at getting $100K to fund our recruitment effort with our summer camp. We will meet Perkins and STEM objectives of NCLB.

We are now looking at another grant that is part of the presidents stimulus package.
Here is the location http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/index.html

If you have a local Clean Cities Coalition then I would encourage you to go for it!
Here a copy of part of my proposal. Be sure to see the links.

/////////////////////////////////Copy of Email//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Greetings,
Does any one have course on electric vehicles? I know Georgia does not. I have permission from Georgia DOE to develop a course. I now need a team to work with me on this. I am asking for support and donations. If you have advice, contacts I need to connect with, or anything I will appreciate all you can do for our students. My vision is that each school that has a transportation program will add this course to their catalog.I have some contacts but would appreciate what you have. I want to develop a course and curriculum for this new technology. If you are interested in collaborating contact me direct. Note that while Hybrids will be a major part and of course fuel cells the main part of the course is electric vehicles. There seems to be a lot going on with this but nothing all in one place.Look at this list of ten new cars. Some were not even in the mind of the designer two years ago. http://www.egmcartech.com/2008/11/12/top-10-new-ca… [egmcartech.com] The Aptera appeared in Wired Mag a while back and now is in production. http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine… [wired.com]
Share, create and share! Thank you,
////////////////////////////////////////end of copy///////////////////////////////////////////////////

If you are interested in this or have resources we can use then I ask you to share.

I was so busy with writing the grants and the meeting involved I did not get this out on time. If you have stories or best practices please share.

Seeya,
Sonny Reeves http://www.autoteacher.net

April Auto teacher News

July 30, 2009

April 6, 2009 Teacher News

A vocational supervisor asked me about online curriculum last week during an Industry Certification site visit. We were in a new auto lab with nothing as of yet purchased in the way of curriculum. Now just so we are all on the same page what do you call curriculum? If all it is for the teacher and student to have a textbook then I feel pain for your students in this fast paced, ever changing technology world we train for the future in. Curriculum to me is everything from all your resources; textbooks, lesson plans for the course and each day, web based resources, online modules, transitional trainers, assessments and rubrics you use to judge your delivery and student mastery. I also include the LCD, digital cameras and video equipment, smart boards and student computers.
In the conversation we had he also asked how I taught automotive. I replied that lecturing more than 20 minutes is a waste of time; few people can hold or give attention longer than 20 minutes. I described how I teach. Each day of course varies along with each class is different. Sometimes I demonstrate with real car parts how the system works beginning with the simple science or physics first. I then describe how the system relates to something they know, like how vacuum is used to fill their lungs in the same way a combustion cylinder is filled with fuel/air mix. I may have already assigned an online resource for the students to watch online, or I may project it on the smart board and use the video or graphics to demo the system. The online resources I use are from the very latest virtual reality programs using the latest technology. See
http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=b2b198b5bb5ba7961a95

The student may have homework to learn or introduce the system before the class. We then go with our teams to the lab for a practical demonstration of the system either on a real vehicle or a transitional trainer. What is a transitional trainer? A Transitional Trainer is one that uses real parts and/or cutaways to give the student something they can see in operation, touch, and demo just like the component or system was in a live vehicle. It may be a set of lights or cooling fans on a board that allows students to hook up and operate just as it would on a vehicle. The trainers can be made to order by a company or created by students in your lab. See
http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=82054fbac07cd4a8ba2b

http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=061806a5f4b358e1d5fc

http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=16d496f4d48b6d5e513b

I tell all my students that this is a fun, working class; they work and I have fun.
Seriously I become the facilitator of learning instead of the fount of all knowledge and professor in charge of a lock step lesson. Automotive technology is dynamic and evolving as we speak. The methods of the 60s will not meet the needs of today’s digital native “Why” generation student. If you were to check most of your students have learned to memorize for the test. They are masters of using short term memory to meet the academic requirements of NCLB testing. We have to challenge them to stop using short term memory to meet long term goals. Learning to learn is our biggest challenge. Next month “Performance Testing!

Sonny Reeves www.autoteacher.net

Teacher news letter for July

July 30, 2009

July 12, 2009 Auto teacher news Shop/Lab Considerations

When an automotive person designs and builds an automotive shop they will aim towards a profitable design. Things like customer service and work flow have to be considered. For the education of students a different perspective is required. One must of course consider safety and environmental issues. I know many of you have shops/labs that were built before you had input into the design. We all have to be flexible and adapt to what we have to deal with. Some are being blessed with funds and development of new labs or renovation of old labs is being considered. I have several calls and e mails recently about new construction of an auto lab for schools.
Mind you that I am not an architect or builder. I did build one dealership shop in the 70s that I owned and later built an independent auto service center I also owned. I am going to include pictures and video links in this newsletter. A visual is worth a lot of writing. This will not cover the classroom which must be separate!
Here are my concerns in this short news letter. A school lab needs to have good lighting and ventilation. Exhaust fans are required to move vehicle exhaust fumes out of the lab area. A shop may be profitable with X number of lifts per XX square feet of floor space, but to teach you know you need lots of room to place all those students where they can observe what you are demonstrating. Like wise heavy duty tables with vises in sufficient numbers to allow all students to practice tasks and layout modules during class. Lots of storage to allow student projects to be organized and controlled. I would recommend a lift and two tables for each four students. These four would work out of one tool set as a team. All special tools are kept in HD plastic parts boxes labeled and organized to the tasks that need to be done. All tools would be organized to the tasks required and in the respective boxes. Generic tools would be displayed on boards or walls. The goal here is for the newest student to be able to find the tool without hassle. Dark tool rooms full of clutter are not profitable in shops or efficient in school labs. Piles of stuff left over and disassembled parts that are no value to the training program should be recycled asap.
The lab should have walkways marked and open for traffic with signage visible to all of where the exits and what the area or room is named. Everything should have a place and everything should be well marked for all to see.
The facility on the DOE web site is efficient and will work better than the labs they built back in the 80s. I had one of those at the first school I taught at. We redesigned it fixing several safety issues.
Here is the plan http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocu20Layouts

The safety of the student is the most important factor in the design. There must be a safety shower and eyewash in the lab. Some schools have balked at this but now OSHA has ruled and how would you feel if one of your students was drenched with gasoline and you have no shower? Be sure to see the safety and clean up area of the Honda Training Center. I include this as the best example of a certified training program. Here it is
https://www.autoteacher.net/uploads/Visit_to_Honda_TC.ppt
I hope you have your own ideas of shop/lab designs to share. Please do!

Hope to see you at NACAT! Sonny