Archive for the ‘Career and Technical’ Category

Remarkable Program….Remarkable Teacher….

July 1, 2011

We recently held our Georgia chapter of NACAT (http://www.nacat.org) conference and training session at Savannah Tech. (http://www.savannahtech.edu/ ) Our chapter meeting was held at Effingham Career Academy, (http://tinyurl.com/3ndcqs8) where Keith Cornell is the AYES (www.ayes.org) automotive instructor. Keith gave us a tour of his new lab and classroom, showing us many of the innovative ideas he has put in place. With one year of teaching at this new facility Keith has road tested and improved many of his designs for improving student learning in a school to work environment. As busy as Keith was wrapping up his school year he took the time to share with all the teachers at our meeting. Thanks Keith!

Fig #1. Keith uses single roll a round tool boxes for each task area. This one contains the special tools needed for brake service. The inventory control and ease of use by adopting this method of tool use will pay off in increased time on task for the students engaged in brake service in the lab.

Fig #1. Keith uses single roll a round tool boxes for each task area. This one contains the special tools needed for brake service. The inventory control and ease of use by adopting this method of tool use will pay off in increased time on task for the students engaged in brake service in the lab.

Fig #2. Keith designed the tool set inventory control for all the tool sets. Color coded general tool sets for each student team. Lots of time invested to do this but the pay off is worth the effort when student learning is increased.

Fig #2. Keith designed the tool set inventory control for all the tool sets. Color coded general tool sets for each student team. Lots of time invested to do this but the pay off is worth the effort when student learning is increased.

Fig #3. Clean and well organized lab will insure students will know how the 21st century work place is supposed to look and be kept with housekeeping skills learned here.

Fig #3. A  clean and well organized lab will insure students will know how the 21st century work place is supposed to look and be kept with housekeeping skills learned here.

Fig #4. Keith modified and designed this cabinet with each class a drawer for safety glasses for each student. The importance of safety with our students can not be compromised or neglected by the instructor.

Fig #5. We did note one fire extinguisher that may have been out of date? Routine safety inspections by the Business and Education Advisory Committee will insure compliance with all Federal, State and local safety regulations.

Fig #6. Cover over emergency power cut prevents accidental interruption of service.

Fig#7 The lab at Effingham Career Academy is bright, clean and well organized. The students learn work ethics as they operate the shop to reflect the best example of the modern dealership and service center.

Fig #8. The lab is well planned so that everything has a place and a place for everything. When things are organized from the start then students will learn the habits that employers will want.

Here is link to video of Keith sharing his stadium seating classroom with the Georgia Auto Teachers.

http://youtu.be/gCRj7NWEv0o

As I toured the lab and classroom of this remarkable automotive program I was impressed with many of the innovative and creative ideas put into practice of the learning environment. I did not see anything that could not be replicated or adopted by anyone’s program. Even in programs with no or low budget some of the ideas would use existing items to create or replicate the idea. I visit a lot of schools around the US and meet a lot of teachers. I visit schools that have limited resources, disadvantaged students and students with more problems than I will mention today. The defining truth is this; The teacher makes the difference in the learning environment. Several years ago I attended a conference when I first started teaching and the presenter had this handout. I can not recall him today or I would give credit to that presenter.

He told stories and spoke of teachers he knew and students he had taught. He made a lasting impression on me and my teaching. I will share a copy of the handout he gave us.

Characteristics of remarkable Teachers

  • They are lifelong learners
  • They seek excellence
  • They have gifts to share
  • They are encouragers
  • They are called out to teach
  • They are positive people
  • They are life changers

  • They love their craft

  • They see the gifts of others

  • They mix stories and humor to connect

  • They champion their students

  • They teach from the heart and the mind

Create! Share! Enjoy!  http://www.autoteacher.net

http://www.linkedin.com/in/autoteachersonny

Outback and in Sight, Used Oil and Safety Glasses or How many lawyers do you know?

May 1, 2011

What is my responsibility to all these rules and regulations concerning the environment? Safety?

Often on visits to schools and colleges I find some that are unsure of what the requirements are for compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations. Some even think that these federal regulations and state laws do not apply to schools. Well, I would not want to be the instructor or administrator that was responsible for a violation. In the 21st century we are all personally responsible to our society to be aware and protect the environment by being good stewards of our world. When I was a youth dumping used oil and other fluids was considered OK as long as you dumped it somewhere else. Today you and your facility can be held liable for even small oil spills or negligent storage practices. All states consider used oil a hazardous waste and hold the generator of the oil liable for proper storage and disposal. To become a known polluter would be foolish in today’s litigation prone world. Oil storage that is open to rainfall is apt to leak in to the ground water. Oil and fluids stored out in open are hazards to spills however accidental and that makes the person who authorized or was in charge of the materials responsible for their proper storage and safe conduct to the recycle center. I feel the old rule of “CYOA” applies in making sure my shop/lab is in compliance. It is very simple to comply with the regulations. All hazardous materials: used oil, trans fluid, brake fluid, paints, solvents, coolant, batteries and used parts should have a visible closed loop back to a recycling facility or supplier. Nothing from your shop/lab should go to the landfill. Have a spill containment platform with proper storage drums/containers for all fluids. Use a lid or covering with a funnel system that is easy for students to use in transfer of fluids.

Fig#1 This containment pallet and two drums is an inexpensive solution. This needs to be underneath a shed or overhang where rainwater will not collect on drum tops of course. Also, used lead acid batteries may be stored here  until routine collection to a recycle center.

Fig #2, A commercial set for spill and storage containment. www.newpig.com Even this set up would need protective lids and cover from rainfall, high winds and impact damage.

Protecting the individual student

Personal Protective Equipment is required for all persons in contact with hazardous material. This means you and your students, Reference Ga. Code O.C.G.A. § 45-22-2 (all states have similar statements) This means compliance with right to know and MSDS requirements being followed with a documented safety and HazMat training. I will recommend a certificate program like www.sp2.org that will give certification and validate your training of student/employees. This will also cover you in the event of an accident in your lab.

I will never understand the “Push Back” I get from teachers in auto labs that don’t require students to wear safety glasses. Many times I visit otherwise good programs to find students in the lab working without safety glasses. I recently visited a lab and students were grinding metal with air grinders and no PPE or glasses were in use. When asked the instructor replied he had gave up trying to make them wear them. Another teacher said he never wore them at work and did not see the need to make kids wear them. I visited two labs a few years ago with the director and when we observed students working in the lab without safety glasses and I stated the requirement for safety glasses the instructor and the administrator asked me where that rule was as if it were not a common sense practice to protect students from eye injury.

I have a video (Safety Glasses)of students holding a brake clip that had cracked the student’s safety glasses when the clip broke while he was working on the brakes. That is why we call them accidents.

See Georgia School Board Rule (All states have similar rules);

160-4-3-.10

Code : JGF 160-4-3- .10 EYE PROTECTION . (1) REQUIREMENTS . (a) Each local board of education shall adopt a policy for ensuring the safety of every student, teacher and visitor participating in or observing certain courses of instruction in any school . (b) Such policy shall require that persons wear appropriate industrial-quality eye protection equipment at…
http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/…legalservices/160-4-3-.10.pdf

NATEF requires this as a Go-No-Go for accreditation of the program.As always NATEF is the final authority on their standards. Please check with http://www.natef.org for latest updates.

OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.132

I will refer you to documents and resources on this page;

https://autoteacher.net/NATEF__Teacher_Helps.html

This is the assumption of the learning environment that NATEF places on Accredited Programs;

http://www.natef.org/documents/auto_standards_2008.pdf

Quote;

12. The concern for safety is paramount to the learning environment. Each program area has the following safety requirement preceding all related tasks:

Comply with personal and environmental safety practices associated with clothing; eye protection; hand tools; power equipment; proper ventilation; and the handling, storage, and disposal of chemicals/materials in accordance with local, state, and federal safety and environmental regulations.

Page 8 “ reference NATEF standards http://www.natef.org

A quick google brings up more information. Here is the summary.

Hazardous Material Storage, includes waste oil, transmission fluid, anti freeze and other automotive fluids. Federal Regulations;

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=41e1500fdf914c7c862ab38890889e35&rgn=div5&view=text&node=40:26.0.1.1.9&idno=40#40:26.0.1.1.9.3.47.3

PUBLIC LAW 96-463 defines used oil as a hazard to human health.

O.C.G.A. § 12-8-62  (2011) quotes the above law in defining the handling of used oil. All States have similar laws and rules.

All public officials are required to know the laws affecting the workplace they are responsible for. O.C.G.A. § 45-22-2

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=41e1500fdf914c7c862ab38890889e35&rgn=div5&view=text&node=40:26.0.1.1.9&idno=40#40:26.0.1.1.9.3.47.3

EPA Document; http://www.epa.gov/owow/NPS/ordinance/

Ga Governmental Document http://www.gaepd.org/Files_PDF/techguide/wpb/noiguidance.pdf

Fig # 3 a student with an oil saver he made for use in lab. The drop or two of oil in the bottles is collected in the bucket for recycling in stead of the trash. The plastic bottles are recycled also.

A Resource;

http://www.newpig.com/us/

This company will be pleased to explain the rules, law and regulations that apply to you and your facility. They are qualified experts that can advise on products and their use. I find them easy to work with in understanding EPA and OSHA as it pertains to schools.

If I can be of service to you or your teachers with training, information please let me know. In all these safety issues I would rather be over than under when in comes to meeting the safety issues we all face in our auto labs.

Remember this “It is not about budgets, school boards or facilities but the safety of the individual student as they are in the learning environment you provide” Be aware, Be informed, Be safe!

Sonny Reeves www.autoteacher.net sonnyjreeves@hotmail.com

NATEF Certified, To be or Not to be………. August 2010

August 14, 2010

The average auto teacher is overworked and under paid. Got your attention! We could spend the rest of the week complaining and debating this statement. I recently toured European schools and the teacher’s number one complaint is the lack of time. (Note: see Dec Blog about time management) Same as here, we do not have time to shift gears or implement new ideas until the summer, winter, or spring break, if we are not completing personal courses of study, working on personal improvement or family experiences during those short times. Our classes are overwhelming in these times of bad economy when everyone that can’t find a job or seeks retraining wants to be a technician of some sort at the Technical College and in our High Schools the rigorous requirements of NCLB impact us in painful ways. It would be a lot easier if no one ever brought up the notion of being industry certified, would it not? What are some of the reasons your program is certified? What are the reasons it is not certified or the certification has lapsed? Let’s look at both sides here and try to be positive, open and realistic in our examination of this controversial subject.

Many times I have presented workshops for teachers to learn the NATEF process only to discover later that nothing changed at their school. Why? Lack of support is often blamed but why would the administration send the teacher to a workshop and then not support them for certification? One of the many items we covered in the workshop was how to apply for the industry certification grants the state provides. I discovered in some cases schools got the grant, spent it and did nothing else. A few never bothered to write the grant. When asked why they admitted procrastination or blamed someone who is now gone. Sometimes Administration would blame the teacher and while in some cases the teacher may be the problem, the teacher says otherwise.

Let’s look objectively at several possible scenarios and examine the cause and effect of the different paths we can take. If we take a positive look at the NATEF process we will discover all the items we see as being negative are a positive improvement for our programs overall health. I can show you that each of the standards used properly will benefit your students, the auto program and make the teachers job easier in the long run. If you have not read the standards I would advise you do so soon. They are located here http://www.natef.org/program.cfm I will be referencing them in this essay.

We can begin our process by developing our advisory or Business and Education Council. I know of no really great program that does not have a viable, dynamic and focused advisory. Sure, it is a pain and a lot of work to develop the relationships, and hours are spent going from place to place meeting new people, organizing and planning the events. See https://autoteacher.net/AYES_Page.php for helps and tips on developing and maintaining the B&E council.

Once you have a working advisory in place then you can share the promotion of your students. You have a source of donations and help when you have needs. Some advisory councils have developed Education Foundations for the program. This gives non-profit status and allows a free flow of donations without the entanglement of school/college rules that hinder fund-raising. After initial start-up two programs I developed were fully funded by donations from the Advisory. A warning sign of a poor advisory is more educators than industry on the council. The worst thing you can do is invite a dealership/owner/service manager to an evening of “Ed speak Presentations.”

See https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/2009/11/ for more on Advisory Committees

What does the Advisory do in a well run program? What NATEF Standards do they have input and direction? Std. 2.3 T&E, 6.5, 6.14, 7. 7.5, 8.11 If you allow the stakeholders to work with you on these you will share the burden of implementing the standards.

If we need new tools and equipment and who does not? We can plan a list based on the standards.

NATEF does have a list of hand tools, equipment and special tools that are considered necessary for training. http://www.natef.org/program_standards/auto.cfm I will not bore you with repeating what is written in the document. I will share with you this true story. A career center was planned by a school system. A well-meaning administration got a copy of the tool list and found some tool dealers and sent them the list. The bids were looked at and the lowest bidder picked. The building was built by the system. All the labs were designed alike. The tool bid winner asked for the number of students in a class and sold the school system 24 sets of every hand tool. Can you imagine 24 police grade Mag lights? The lab got offshore brand equipment, can you say not certified safe lifts and substandard special tools? Can you imagine dial indicators that fall apart when used or micrometers that don’t mike? Can you see a multimeter that burns out in a week of student use? Textbooks were ordered off the list from the state without review to see if content was relevant. Trainers that are not transitional trainers are bought at high prices that student learn nothing on except to operate the games. The money ran out before the alignment lift could be ordered. Several key big-ticket items were not purchased. The well-meaning administrator then looked for a teacher via the DOE channels. The teacher they hired had failed as a technician and the system he had worked as a teacher before was glad he moved on. Three years later the program is closed for lack of students. What could have been done different? Could the NATEF standards have prevented this expensive mistake? Consider this scenario.

An administrator is assigned to develop the new auto program. He/She forms a team of teachers, counselors, work based learning coordinators and interested parties. The community auto businesses are surveyed by the team by calling on the dealer principals and shop owners for interviews with them face to face. Community Civic Organizations, Std 2.6 are presented with preliminary plans that ask for local input. The State program specialists are contacted and teacher position is placed on the state and local site. An advisory committee is formed from the survey of local businesses, Std 2.5. By this time the team has set up a chain of command of the interested stakeholders Std 2.2. Std 1.1 and Std 1.2 are being formed by the committee. Std 2.3 has been presented to the system leadership and Std 2.6 and 4.2, 5.6 are on the table for the leadership to act upon. The advisory has formed a team to plan the shop/lab layout with a focus on safety and learning as in Std 2.4. Another team is developing Std. 6.1 with an eye to emerging technology, DOE curriculum and incorporation of Science, Math and Language Arts. The advisory council’s next agenda item is Std 7.2 the selection and recommendations for tool and equipment needs for the program. The safety, Std 7.1 of the learning environment is foremost in all these proceedings. As soon as the building/renovation is complete the teams inspect and report on the new lab and classroom, Std 8.6 should have been addressed in the early plans of the site. During this walk through Std 8.11 is addressed. During this time the selection of an instructor is being done with interviews being held for qualified applicants. Std 9.1 requires ASE certification be current and the instructor continuing with industry recognized update training. Careful consideration with as many stakeholders in the program having input in the selection of a teacher for he/she is the key to an excellent program. After selection the  teacher is enrolled in a  Teacher Training to prepare a person out of industry for the rigors of the  classroom.  Now that we are at this point we see that the NATEF standards while minimum, their requirements are the framework a great program can be built upon. Once this basic work outlined here is done we can continue to build upon this foundation and have a truly great program ready for site evaluation in a few school years. All of these suggestions should be considered a continuous process and not a one time agenda item. See for more information    A guide to program certification 

Now what are your objections? Here are a few common ones. I would love to hear your story if I do not cover it here.

“I don’t have enough time in my school year for the required hours.”

This is a structure problem with a lot of high schools. Consider articulation with a post secondary and only certify your program in two areas. Consider a work based learning co-op program with local businesses for after school mentored training. Consider the General Service Technician Training Program, GST Certification which is according to the instructors I have talked with that are using the GST model works very well for Secondary schools. Consider adding a summer internship class or summer class to add more contact hours. Explore the new Std 11 and step into the 21st Century with your students. If done carefully learning can become constant and time the variable. You can place 25% of your instructional time into the e learning category if you follow the standard.

“I don’t have enough time in the school class period”

Some schools only have 50 minute classes. While this may work in a History class and is fine for teaching Spanish it will not allow for safe and proper delivery of a lab class.  A shop/lab teacher with requirements to teach hands on subject matter with a performance based assessment (std 6) can not safely and efficiently do the tasks in a 50 or 45 minute period. Clean up/ Lab set up time eat up effective instructional time. Present a plan to combine periods for your students in these short periods. A 100 minute class will give the organized teacher time to teach and the students can perform in a safe learning environment. The schedule and/or registering requirements of students should not place them in unsafe labs.

“I don’t have enough time (personal) “

If you are in this position and can not find a watch with more than 24 hours on the face then take a step back and examine your day. If you can not organize, plan and develop procedures to do your job with relative comfort, safety and deliver quality instruction then “What is wrong with this picture?”  I suggest you join NACAT and create, share and enjoy the fellowship. The networking with the very best auto teachers on the planet will be worth the time and expense of membership. Many times I have needed something for my class an a fellow teacher in another state I would have never met outside of NACAT will share the “Wheel” so I don’t have to reinvent the “Wheel”  See www.nacat.org

see for more on this https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/2010/01/

“I have no funds/money/budget”

Currently there are several grants out there for auto teachers. Are they going to call you up and deliver the cash? No, are they going to write themselves? No, Do you have to be a skilled grant writer? No, I obtained many grants by asking many more than I got. Were they hard to write? No, some were fill in the blank online and easy, some were difficult and required a team to develop. In a recent work shop I presented at NACAT 2010, an instructor from California shared how she had a grant from a source I quote http://www.grants.gov/ Her school will get $2 million for Hybrid, Alt vehicle study. Another source is to take a Skills USA student to the local civic clubs and have them speak, a 3-5 minute speech on why they are in Skills, or auto and then you talk for a few  minutes on your program and the benefits to the community. Then ask for donations! I do know this if you don’t ask you won’t get.

Is the NATEF process perfect? No, nothing with us humans is. We can work together to make a better NATEF. The NATEF staff are certainly focused on helping you. The NATEF President knows what you face each day having been an auto teacher and a technician. No one likes change but wet babies but our industry is changing so fast; only by staying on top can you deliver the technical instruction the new market place requires.

Bottom line is that you can leverage every NATEF Standard to have the type of program that students will demand to be in. Business will support the program because they will see the  market place value in the program. Your leaders and school boards can be proud of because of the excellence of the graduates. I have visited many good programs. I have visited many great programs. All the excellent programs were NATEF Certified. The choice is yours. Email me if I can be of service. See for more information https://autoteacher.net/

Sonny Reeves

http://www.linkedin.com/in/autoteachersonny

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/

If you want time, You must make it

December 12, 2009

Time                                                                                        Teacher’s News letter December 2009

The bane of our educational existence is constant and immortal. I have not met a teacher that has enough time. We serve our students Bell to Bell. Then even more time is used to care for our lab, prepare for the next day’s instruction and begin the fast paced cycle again. Our battle is dubious and our enemy is time. We may be able to cast out the demons of dumbness and raise our students to higher standards but we still face the constraints of time. Our students are not always aware of our challenge to deliver quality instruction in the time allowed. When I informed my students of the tasks we must accomplish in a semester they shrugged it off as my problem not theirs.

A few years back Dale Fasenmeyer of the PTEC CAP program in St. Pete Florida and now AYES coordinator for PTEC used the Chrysler Flat Rate Manual and the NATEF Task list to analyze the real time vs the curriculum time required to do the Steering and Suspension A4 course in the time allowed by the school system. What he found was that the flat rate to do the tasks in the course would pay over 400 hours to a technician in the dealership yet the instructor only has 150 hours to teach the course. Now Dale used common sense and grouped related tasks to figure time so don’t think he was not practical in his calculations. We talk of completing the course; following the syllabus and lesson plans, yet we know that some students just do not get it! Let’s be honest here and don’t drink the popular lemonade that says all children can learn. That statement is in many school mission statements but I feel it is too wide a brush to paint a picture of our classrooms today.  Now if you think that all children can learn you need to stop reading right now because I know I have taught many children to lead productive lives in our industry; yet some will be good technicians, some will one day own their own businesses, while some will be those that work hard but not smart. We won’t speak of the others, those that are not interested in learning. Well I will share this one with you!

I had a student a while back that  had a lot of behavior and motivation problems. I sent him to the principal and she asked him why was he here if he did not want to be a learner in my class. He said” I’m here for th’ wemens and th’ food!” He was 19 in the 10th grade, his mom was 33 and she was no help in the problems he caused. I think she became a grandmother before the year was out.

I feel that our education system needs to be a place where learning is constant and time is variable, not the system we have now where time is the master and learning is by the numbers. So many potentially good students are beaten down by subjects they will never use and are not taught the subjects with the relevance they need in a way that meets their learning style. Example: My wife teaches middle grades science and she asked me for some ways to teach the principles of electricity. I gave her loads of material to use and she protested she only had one and a half hours in the semester to teach electricity. Did you know that it is possible to leave middle school and never have taken a science class? Did you know that some students can get to the 9th grade having never passed a class in any subject at any grade level in our current system. Over 70% of middle grade students in some states are passed by this method. It is called social promotion.

Imagine a world where you as a student learn what you want when you want. I am getting way out of the box now and even say get rid of the box as it often hinders learning. I like the statement from Jeff Curtis at NACAT 2009 “Learning should be Viral” I will not bore you with numbers I can’t remember, but the largest population in our prisons are High School drop outs. What we are doing as a nation in education is not working.  Let’s imagine students that come to your class because they learn there, not that you teach, but that they know they will learn in your class/lab because you are the facilitator of the learning process. You open windows of opportunity and learning for them. Now you can’t raise the dead or walk on water but students know they will learn when they become stake holders in your class/lab. You enable, you inspire and you require the student to meet your standards. Our good students will thrive in this environment, our less than good or to be politically incorrect: behavior disordered, unmotivated students would not get it if you injected it into their vacant skulls. In 15 years of teaching I never figured out what to do with them. Maybe the proponents of the NCLB and “Everyone can Learn” theory of education will one day get their car fixed by a student that was socially promoted, only made the minimum passing grade in the shop classes and is now been hired to work at a dealership because the dealer can’t find enough qualified applicants that want to work with their hands in our craft. I wonder what they will say about the work that is done incorrectly on their expensive vehicle. Will they say ‘ Oh that’s alright, He is doing the best he can” or as my 3rd grade teacher said as she patted me on my shoulder “Bless your little heart” What she really meant was “You ain’t never gonna get this!”

Do not waste that most precious commodity on them “Time.”

Imagine the students online with a cutting edge curriculum that requires the student to interact and move the mouse to make things happen as they would under the hood. Not watching a video or reading volumes of text but very accurate technical graphics with learning the way students live/learn embedded in the lessons. Imagine the student online at home, on their phone, in the media center, the city library or at any time. When I introduced this learning style to my students they quickly adapted to it because I required the learning online as a prerequisite to the lab. My students will do anything to get into the lab/shop. I made it a requirement that they successfully complete specific lessons online before they can practice the task in the lab/shop.

Enjoy your winter break, spend time with your family. Sharpen the saw!  Here is an “Excuse Grinder” you can build if you have time. The excuse grinder will save hours in your class by grinding up student excuses quickly.    http://got.im/59861

You can do all this when you have time. I can show you how to save time in your classroom and lab.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Sonny



You teach, Who Learns? or Learns how to learn

October 2, 2009

Learning to Learn or How do you teach?  October Auto Teacher News

Many years ago in a 9th grade algebra classroom I sat bewildered by all the new concepts and theories being presented. I did not get it! The teacher was unconcerned by my lack of understanding. All she did was read romance novels and keep the class quite. Large stacks of “Ditto” sheets and a textbook were the mainstream of her teaching. When I said I did not understand the problems I was told to read the book. When another student tried to help me I was disciplined for talking in class. After almost all “A” report cards my grades started to slip. Behavior issues began, rather than be considered dumb I would be known for my misbehavior. Soon the math class for me was to sit in the back of the room with my desk facing the wall, bored and forgotten. No one ever impressed upon me the need for my knowing the subject.

Who knows the difference a concerned math teacher could have made in the course of my life. I know the lack of an understanding of math has held me back in some cases. My love of the science of electricity has been limited by my ignorance of the higher math required for a degree in Electrical Engineering. I am sure if I had dedicated math teachers like Ms. Jones or Ms. Sirmans who teach with me at Hutchings my life would have been different and possibly easier.  As it was I have had to adapt and work harder to overcome my shortcomings in math. I can see myself in many of my students. They are bored, discipline problems abound, and because only few teachers are dedicated enough to get through to them they will drop out or otherwise not reach their full potential.

How do you teach? Do you expound on the facts of our high tech world and seek to teach every new thing under the Sun/Hood of our high tech world and the new cars? Or do you seek to instill what Jorge Menchu calls “Learning to Learn” and prepare your students to think, learn and create their own high tech world of “Knowing” instead of just memorizing the fact so as to repeat it for a test.  I know that you want the best for your students and you truly want to be the best teacher you can be. Here are some observations for you. When I was around eight years old I was a very good whistler, in fact I was the best there was among my eight year old peers. I had the summer off and my dog and I set out to do what all boys and their dog will do during a summer of fun. I wanted to do something for my dog. Now all boys love their dog when they are eight. I wanted the best for my dog. I wanted to teach my dog to whistle! I proceeded to teach and my dog listened with a wagging tail and open expression on his doggy face. I taught my heart out to an attentive pupil. At the end of the summer my dog could whistle no better than he could at the beginning. In fact he never could or would. No one impressed the dog with the reason he needed to whistle. There was no relevance or rigor in my teaching all we had was a relationship.

I now know better than to try and teach at my level to a student’s level with out an adjustment for learning styles and prior knowledge that the student has. A grave disservice is that many students I have today have not had physical science since sixth grade.  In order to teach electrical or hydraulics I have to back up and teach basics of science and physics. Now in my class the student finally has a relevant course that gives a tangible reason of how electricity is used to operate a relay that causes a fuel pump to pump fuel to run the engine. When I explain a modern automobile I teach, that the vehicle we use and service today, is basically the same as the 1960’s model our fathers and grandfathers knew except the manufactures have added an average of $27000.00 worth of safety, emissions controls and accessories we must have. The Chevy I bought new in 1969 was $2895.00 today the same basic car is $30,000.00. Now this essay is not to argue the merits, prices or attributes a of a car line. I would like to propose that the car of today is still operating off the same basic physics, science and math principles of the first car ever built. The Wow! and Whiz Bang of the High Tech vehicles we are seeing pop up like mushrooms after a summer rain are nothing more than $27000.00 worth of safety, emissions and accessories added to our 1969 car’s basic fundamental principals of physics, science and math.

Here are my hard questions. Why are our programs looked upon as a savior for students that did not do well in middle grades science and math classes?  Why are we expected to teach our physics, science and math to students that either failed or made Cs and Ds in those subjects?  Why are our hands on classes looked upon as inferior to academic classes by state school boards when good techs in all trades are making economic progress in these hard times and college grads can’t find jobs?

What’s up with this? Do you teach to the test or for life long learning? Do you teach the basics? Do you create a hunger for learning in your student?

Hope this Helps,

Sonnyjreeves@hotmail.com

E learning the next step in Developing the 21st Century Class

September 8, 2009
Failed to evolve

Failed to evolve

Online E Learning, more on developing the 21st Century Classroom.

I have a simple vision for online courses. Model the Honda/Toyota training center procedures that have been used for several years to train the dealership technicians. This is a successful industry model of proven performance. I am sure many of you have attended the factory training centers of your choice. All the major players are using the online delivery of theory and cognitive instruction. I know from first hand experience that Ford and GM do. I have attended their training several years ago. I assume they have continued as one of my former students who is now at a Ford Dealership said he is taking the course work online and he likes it. I enrolled in the Honda University Online training in 2004. I complete course work online in the subject areas I need training in and then attend the American Honda Training Center near Atlanta for a week each June to complete the hands on portion of the course work I learned online. Honda has been very generous to allow AYES and NATEF Instructors to attend free of charge. The instructors at the training center can check our online transcripts and advise us which hands on modules we can test out on. We select the module and are assigned a vehicle as needed and follow the instructions much as if we are at the dealership and complete the task. The instructor checks our documentation and asks pertinent questions about the procedure to verify our understanding. The instructor may require us to demonstrate the procedure or task to prove mastery. The instructor is always available to help with our understanding or demonstrate the correct procedure. They may ask that we review the online lesson or redirect us to another course to learn before we attempt the module so that we build on learning.

I have used this facilitating of the learning environment in my class/lab for years with great effect. See my post for

https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/

Now if you understand the Honda model for E learning we can move on to the next step on how we can use it in our classroom/lab. Many of you are already using the SP/2 for safety training. Are you backing it up with hands on performance test to prove mastery? See

https://autoteacher.net/Electrical_PerformanceTests for examples of hands on test rubrics

Take the next step and assign a hands on course to students and allow 24/7 access. Set a date/time for hands on labs and practice of tasks. Set a date/time for hands on testing for mastery of the tasks in your lab. Now repeat until you and the students are comfortable with this type learning and assessment.

Now take the next step. Assign a task(s) to a student in Work Based Learning, YAP, DCT or AYES. (By the way, AYES is the model for this next step.) Of course the student must work at a shop that has an ASE technician who is certified in the course area you are enrolling the student. The workplace and the technician must agree to be the mentor for the student. Training for the mentor and the workplace is done by you or the school’s representative. Hopefully the AYES model of mentor/intern training is used and the mentor is now qualified to sign off for the student’s mastery of the tasks. Again the use of the AYES model of documentation and tracking is already proven so why reinvent the wheel. The next step is to use the online curriculum you develop and enroll students that can not normally attend your class/lab. Maybe even students in another school, county, state, or nation? Maybe by using the synergy of ASE, NATEF, NACAT, AYES and IATN we could develop a learning environment that is global. Maybe we can create an automotive learning virus that will infect future technicians everywhere. I know there are details and problems we need to solve. Any one that says “No” just needs to “Know” more about e learning which is evolving as we speak. I am doing it now and have been since 2005 school year when I combined my experience with Honda training with AYES mentor/intern experience and training and added in the resources of my web site. See

https://autoteacher.net/E_Learning.html

See August post if you missed it

https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/2009/08/

Enjoy,

Sonny Reeves

Developing a 21st Century Shop Class

August 9, 2009

Pictures from class/lab using Performance based online learning in an automotive program

Students work in teamsFigure from Chassis Class. Students work together in teams of two to four to accomplish tasks in the lab. Practice of tasks and instructor feed back results in ability to master the tasks.
to practice the tasks. The teacher facilitates the learning process.
Teams work with multimedia to create and explore.
Levon went from success at SkillsUSA to a rewarding Career with BMW
Peer Teachers are encouraged

Students use LCD to challange the team to diagnose the vehicle in the classroom

Levon is now at BMW of Macon living his dream of being a certified BMW Technician and not yet 21yrs old.
Students have 24/7 access to Elearning

Students practice the tasks on live vehicles

Figure from Electrical Class. Students use LCD to diagnose the problem of the virtual vehicle simulation online.

These students have ten minutes to fix the problem. Another team can challenge them with the same or similar problem winning the right to be excused from clean up or other spiff. They have already worked this problem on their own as individuals.

Shop/lab time is used to practice, practice and more practice.
The online Argo is true interactive e learning. Not just watching a video or reading a text on a PC.

The virtual car is interactive and can be diagnosed, repaired just like a real vehicle

Figure from Argo Screen shot of virtual DMM used to test the vehicle’s electrical measurements. This virtual meter saves wear and destruction of the real meters and vehicles student will use later in lab
The use of the EDT allows student mistakes without damage to valuable test equipment and vehicles. Students move to live work after practice on the trainer online

This is the goal of the program. To develop life long learners that can have rewarding careers.
.

Micheal Alford became a Honda Certified Technician during his Junior-Senior Summer AYES Internship. He is now a Honda Technician at Walsh Honda Macon Georgia
Developing a Shop Class for the 21st Century

“You can do the work of the mind without the hand, but not that of the hand without the mind.” Danish Proverb

This is the way I teach automotive service technology in a Georgia High School secondary program. The program is NATEF Certified and AYES affiliated with good industry support. Currently Georgia requires four areas of NATEF task list to be presented to the student. Most secondary programs do not have the contact hours for more course work. I have four 135 hour semesters and one150 hour summer internship to do this in. If you are post secondary the method will work for you as well. I have taught at the post secondary also using these same methods. This is not the only way or may not be the best way, or it may not meet your teaching style but it works for me. The freedom I have as an instructor, this way of delivering instruction, gives me time to meet more of each student’s learning style is awesome. I like for the students to work and I have fun. If this is practiced in your class/lab and adjusted for your student’s needs then you will become the facilitator instead of the sole fount of all knowledge. Your students will become learners of their own right and you will have fun teaching.

After years of being a shop owner and not knowing a better way, I developed my Automotive class as I would a shop or service center with lots of employees. My class/lab reflects the world of work more than the average academic classroom. As in the workplace assessment is in the finished product. I use a hands-on performance test to prove mastery of the individual student of the task. I feel that the use of this style of rubric empowers the student to become a self learner with critical thinking skills instead of a recorder of facts for memorization and preparing for a pen and paper test.

I begin the class with a demonstration from the class site provided by the online course Argo in the course area of my lesson plan for the week. See https://autoteacher.net/E_Learning.html for examples. All of my lesson plans are on the Georgia Dept of Education Peach State Pathways here: http://www.gactaern.org/curriculum_transsup.html

For example, I may use a web site as a “Spark Plug” for the student to visit while I get the day going. I use a lot of the web sites on the links at:  www.autoteacher.net

I think I could teach for years and not exhaust all the resources in these sites. Our main resource is an online interactive learning management system with courses and modules based on learning by doing instead of reading, watching and listening. The students are assigned interactive modules using virtual vehicle components and engaging course work that requires active movement to progress through the course from beginner level to master level.  Each student has access to our web site and a 24/7 sign in to our custom set up Argo learning management system. Each student can have a separate learning plan or be in a class of students online. The course modules are easy to assign and they will not run out of modules to do online.  Students have access to all classroom resources and all the routine paperwork on the web site or I can download and print out for them the required paperwork for class; examples, Class Handbook, Home work assignments, Shop Rules, etc. See https://autoteacher.net/Class_Papers.html . Even if they don’t have a computer at home they have access to one in the Media Center and of course each student has a computer in the automotive classroom. I burn the syllabus, course description, handbook, homework assignments, and all required papers for the class onto a CD or flash drive for them if they want. Each student has a notebook to keep all class work, research paper work, documentation of lab work and performance tests.

After about 20 minutes of learning using a “Smart Board Sympodium”, LCD projector,  with an online Argo module of my choice (I require notes each day for daily grade) I see eyes are getting sleepy, then I shift gears for the day’s assignment. A set of tasks for each week are assigned to the class which was divided into teams during the first week of school. Tasks are “Performance Tests” and these are NATEF tasks required for the course.  This is “Beginning with the end in mind” by assigning the task to be mastered at the start of the lesson. Students have access to all their Performance Tests online for instruction on their computer. They will be challenged to compete as teams to solve the failure in the virtual vehicle in the online module using the classroom’s LCD and Smart Board. See video at https://autoteacher.net/E_Learning.html

After preparation and practice with the virtual modules online, I will have students in the lab on actual vehicles with failures and problems to solve in their teams. Peer teaching and student sign off of each other’s performance test keeps all active and engaged.  The real world training modules and technical explanations can be absorbed by each learner at their pace. The tests are used as guides for learning, and an Assessment much like a job sheets.  The students print off the Performance Tests/Tasks sheets as needed and keep them in their notebook which remains in the classroom/lab. I have a HP 9015 B&W printer that is cheaper to run than a copier. All class papers and performance tests are on the class server with hard copy files for back up in file cabinet. A quick look at the Argo LMS and I know who needs instructor attention. I can see where all students are at any time during the course on their online course work. I can even see which module is being used and how the student is doing in all of Bloom’s taxonomy. Online assignments can be quickly shifted as some students race ahead while others lag behind.

Teams of students practice the tasks online after a thorough study of theory; then they can practice the tasks in the lab or challenge the other teams in performance of the tasks. Students use video to film their practice and videos are created to demonstrate mastery of the tasks. Creating a video of their work or developing a training module in the lab is very uplifting for students and is the highest learning order for Bloom’s Taxonomy.

I use a simple Performance Evaluation rubric to evaluate the task or set of tasks. I give these Performance Tests to each student during the first week of the semester so they know what they are expected to do. This is the “Beginning with the End in Mind’ way of teaching. The desired outcome is the mastery of the tasks on the Performance Test.  It is important to walk them through the NATEF task list, how to print and use the Job sheets to practice.  The simple assessment form is an adaptable word document, and covers the Job/Tasks similar to how you would actually do the service in a real shop. Example: To service a disc brake I combine the tasks for: Writing a brake repair order, service of the caliper, rotor, wheel bearings and checking pedal height. You need to combine the related tasks into a sequential order to suit your lab and resources. Ask your self how you would do the service on a customer vehicle. Make it real! I like for each student to practice the tasks three times if possible. Each must have a team member sign off that they practiced the task properly with the other student. Then if that student can not meet the performance objective for the teacher’s observation of the task both students are redirected and must practice the tasks until they are successful. The use of a hands-on Performance test meets the requirements of Standard 6 of NATEF Industry Certification. Some students do the tasks very well after much practice. Attitude defines the outcome and student progress is monitored in the lab by teacher observation. Being a facilitator of the learning environment provides you more one-on-one time some of our students need. You have the time to “Differentiate Instruction” and meet all those different learning styles of your students. I feel more learn this way than not. Furthermore, I can prove they know what they are doing when they are done because of the hands on mastery recorded on the Rubric.

Each student keeps up with their tests, supporting documents and records the completion in their notebooks. You sign off after the observation of the student’s final practice. Security is maintained by knowing your students, and having the notebooks to back up what they say they did with Job Sheets signed by you. You will know who is working because now you have time to observe.  I give very few written tests other than practice for the NATEF end of course test and then only to evaluate what I teach in theory.

Do all students complete? Do all learn? Are all engaged? Yes!

You and your administration have to decide. Do you really want it to work or do you just want to pass the time?

Positive comments welcome. E mail or call for more information.

HTH,
Sonny Reeves
sonnyjreeves@hotmail.com
Sonny is an Automotive Educator, Consultant to DOE, Schools, Colleges and Teachers
Sonny has co-owned and managed a Nissan Dealership; owned a NAPA Auto Care Service Center, and has been teaching Automotive Service Technology for fifteen years at the secondary level and two years post secondary. Sonny is currently an AYES instructor at his second Career Center in a NATEF certified program. He is ASE Master Certified (1975) and a NATEF ETL since 2000. In 2001 Sonny became an AYES instructor and was selected school system Teacher of the Year in 2003 and 2008 by two different school systems. His program was recognized by AIPC and ASE in 2003.