Archive for the ‘Auto Teacher News Jan o9’ Category

The New Auto Teacher

February 16, 2010

Autoteacher News for February 2010

Recent question from a new auto teacher prompted me to write this one. Seems a school started a new teacher into a class where he was handed little more than the keys to the room. Sadly sometimes we auto teachers get very little training for education. Many times we are not assigned a mentor. A lot of assume and maybe a little help with paper work from next door teachers during a rushed planning period. Here is what I wrote.

Welcome to the world of teaching. Relax; I must say that you are doing a lot of things at one time.  I will suggest a few things to do if you are not already doing them. Get on IATN educators forum, Join NACAT, and your state teacher’s organization that offers liability insurance.
http://members.iatn.net// http://www.nacat.org/

Visit my web site http://www.autoteacher.net and take anything there for your own use. Teach the basics; don’t worry about the wiz bang new stuff. Teach the science, physics and math of the automobile. Teach what you know and learn as you go. In all things teach safety. Cover the simple stuff that we all should know. Tools, fasteners and shop procedures. I have never had a student that knew the proper way to mop the floor.
Set a timeline for your teaching, a lesson plan for the week. Don’t let it be the rule, but rather a short term goal to follow. Do electrical, then something else for a week, don’t try and force too much on them at a time. Ohm’s law learned to the point that a volt drop is understood is way better than filling the hours with lecture and redundant theory. Write the physics/science principle on the board each day and require them to know that it will never change, even if everything we know about cars will change very soon. Teach them to work smart not hard. Make them work, and you have fun! Read Harry Wong’s book “The first day of school” if you have not done so already. Require the students to learn the concept before you move on. Don’t worry with the 20% that don’t want to learn. Focus on the motivated few and teach to them. If you teach to the ones that are interested then you will be happier at the end of the day. Use stories, metaphors and relate everything back to something you can allow them to see and touch.

Establish a set of procedures; require everyone to follow the rules. Procedures and way you want things done should be constant and enforceable. Be fair and firm. Be their leader, not their buddy. Keep your integrity at the highest level. Set the best example you can for you will be the person some will model for good or bad.

You are in charge; no one else can be there in your classroom/lab. Use the lab/shop time as a reward for hard work in class. Give them so much relevant work to do that they are never done and your discipline issues will go away.

One day you will find that you are no longer a technician that teaches but you have become a teacher of technicians.

Read my blog when you have time

https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/

Enjoy the day; you are making a difference very few can claim.

sonnyjreeves@hotmail.com

Work Smart Not Hard!

January 18, 2010

Work Smart Not Hard!       January Auto Teacher Newsletter

We spoke of time and the lack there of in our frantic pace the education system demands of us last month. How do you manage time? Family first and that means how many hours? Sleep? Normal things we do to fulfill Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That leaves little time for our students. At this point we have more roads to take in our journey. Do we give the school/students more of our time than we are not paid for? Or do we clock in and out like a factory worker? I assume you are more of the former than the latter as most all teachers I visit and meet with are dedicated to the excellence of their teaching. Some consider their teaching a calling from God and it shows in their programs success in spite of all the difficult times we all face.  All that being said let’s move on to finding ways to do more without working harder but working smarter. Here are some questions for you.

Do you have file drawers full of papers you don’t need?  Can’t find what you need when you need it a week/month/year later? Consider placing your documents in an online folder by scanner or using a camera to take pictures of each document. Several free sites will give you space in the cloud to store your pictures, files and other documents. Example: Windows Skydrive, Google’s Gmail resources.

Taking notes in meetings and then don’t remember what was important? Or in my case can’t read my notes or remember what was said. Consider recording the meeting on an audio file, or video and audio example: Flip HD Camera or Sony audio recorder. I videoed my entire Business and Education Advisory Committee meeting last time we met because the person who was to take notes was absent.

See: Advisory Meeting

“Reinventing the Wheel.” This is the big one in MHO. I made my first NACAT meeting in 1999. We met in Charleston at Dan Perrin’s school Trident Technical College. I still maintain the relationships I gained at that first meeting. Many times I have needed a document, test, multimedia or rubric that has been quickly supplied by my sustaining resources in the NACAT organization. Many good teachers become so bogged down by details and requirements of the day they wind up doing many tasks to prepare their classrooms the hard way instead of the smart way. They remind me of the wood sawer that never had time to sharpen the saw.  Many good teachers do not go to conferences, network or develop relationships with veteran teachers even though this could be the most valuable time spent.

Several times I have been called by CTAE Directors to work with the Auto Teacher and find that they are struggling with several issues; classroom control, academic requirements, maintenance of the lab, equipment, live work, and a host of daily details. Some have been genuinely surprised when they are introduced to other auto teachers in my workshops, on IATN (www.iatn.net) and at conferences. The surprise comes when the discovery is made that we all endure the same problems and can achieve the same successes by networking.

I will assume some of this goes back to our competitive nature we learned on the shop floor as flat raters or shop owners competing for customers. One of the worst fights I ever saw in the U. S. was at a GM dealership I worked at years ago (all the cars had fins!) Two mechanics (that is Technicians nowadays) were on flat rate and both had the same qualities of experience and skills. They were good friends and joked with each other, went hunting together and of course played jokes on everybody. The fuss started like any other day at the shop with a joke here and a joke there. Neither of the men locked their toolboxes when they went to lunch or test drove. Al put dog food in the Bill’s tool box because he said “Bill is getting all the gravy so here is some gravy train!” The next day Bill greased Al’s lock on his tool box and it went downhill from there. Both were locking their tools up and everyone was acting grumpy. Al took a few more jokes from Bill and then when Bill was gone on a test drive he drilled a hole in the side of Bill’s tool box and inserted a grease fitting. Using the shop’s high pressure grease gun it pumped chassis lube until it ran out the edges of the locked box. Well, Bill and Al fought and were fired on the spot. I sure am glad that I don’t have to work in conditions like that anymore. We would call it “Horseplay” in our labs and quickly put a stop to it.

I hope all of you are ready for this New Year and have a good start so far. I know budgets are tight and furloughs are occurring in many systems. Try to go to as many conferences and workshops as you can, join NACAT www.nacat.org, network with as many teachers as you can, call any new teacher in your area and offer a hand of fellowship to them. I hope to meet and see all of you in Orlando this July at the NACAT national conference. If your state does not have a NACAT get a few teachers together, call NACAT national and see how to set up your own state chapter.

Enjoy, Share, Create!

Sonnyjreeves@hotmail.com

Last month’s

https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/

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