Posts Tagged ‘ASE’

Hard start, Great finish

February 20, 2014
 ImageTomira McKinney or TK as she likes to be known was a student at Hutching’s Career Center NATEF accredited AYES program in 2005 when I met her, Raised by her  mom and a child of Macon’s inner city she was not a good student at first . Time and patience worked on her and soon she became the service and parts “manager” for the “Shop” during our lab class. A store manager came in one day to deliver parts and met TK as she handled the parts order. The store manager was delivering the parts to the school and came over to me and asked “Can I hire her?” I said “Sure! but she is only 16.” He said ” I don’t care she is better than anyone in the store I have now” After an interview and job shadowing. TK served as a paid AYES Intern in the O’Reilly’s store that summer and then the next year continued until graduation at the store on Vineville street in Macon Georgia. The last report on her was a call from TK in 2011. She was in Atlanta moving up into the management of several stores for O’Reilly’s.
        These stories are not unique to my experience. Instructors using the AYES model across the nation see success and sometimes problems. We welcome you to join with us to develop the next generation of students in the transportation industry.
        I hope you are interested in adding AYES model to your NATEF program. Or you are looking into NATEF accreditation for your school. Give the NATEF or the AYES office a call.  We are always ready to help the pursuit of excellence in Automotive education.

Placements don’t always go as expected.

February 20, 2014
  I placed a student at a Mercedes dealership. Josh, a junior is a good student, respectful and motivated. The service manager, James, was hard but fair. We the WBL coach and I had worked many hours to convince the dealership to hire a 17 year old. We knew if this young man did not get a job soon he would move on to another career as  the family needed income. The local fast food places were hiring kids all day @ $7.50 an hour and giving them 60 hours of work. That is hard to compete with in a shop that only goes 40 hours. The dealer finally approved the hire and Josh was in. The mentor was selected and Josh was at this first real paying job working as an intern to a Master Mercedes Technician. His mom was so proud of him. The first week went well.  The second week James was out for a vacation day and the mentor assigned to Josh called in sick. I got the phone call around 2 pm. “We are firing your student, Mr Reeves” said the assistant service manager. What happened?
 
2008 L to R, Josh,  AYES Intern, Lavon Tarver BMW Tech AYES Graduate,  in background Shane Brown, BMW Master Tech and AYES mentor to Levon and Josh. Josh is @ Butler BMW in Macon Georgia Levon is now the instructor of the automotive program @ Hutchings Career Center in Macon GeorgiaImage
The case was this. Josh was working with another tech he did not know well, when the assistant service manager came to the tech and told him a service was due on a car in the Service entrance, they both told Josh to go get the car. Now Josh was 17, he knew he was not to drive any vehicle. He had a drivers license but all AYES interns are told “No driving the cars!” His mentor knew this, James knew this, everyone except the two adults telling Josh to go get the car NOW! Josh did what he hoped was the best to try and please the immediate adult requests and almost totaled a new Mercedes E class on the side of the dealership doorway.  Should he have called me first? Yes, but his cell phone was locked up in the office as per the rules of the workplace. Should I have made sure everyone knew the rules? Yes, but some how these two were not informed.
     Josh did lose his job and I was called to the dealership the next day by James. There I met with James, Josh and Josh’s mom who was very upset. By being there I feel I helped smooth over a potentially negative situation as the mom was not happy with the dealership policy and firing of Josh. The AYES model recommends that you the instructor visit students during the summer internship on a regular basis. “Inspect what you Expect” 
      However, Josh was hired the next fall to work half days after school by another dealership and is still there after 10 years. He has not wrecked any more cars. “All’s well that ends well.”

AYES Model, Active Mentoring

February 17, 2014

        Spring is almost here and soon your hard work will pay off as students graduate or move into summer internships. The value of the work-based learning experience is the result of many hours, if not days, of preparation, beginning back last year when your introduced your students to the concept. The Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) school-to-career model outlined in this blog is road-tested, known and widely supported by industry leaders. The AYES model is based on the European apprenticeship and was introduced by Jack Smith, then Chairman of General Motors, in 1995. Since then, AYES has evolved to be the industry-wide model for the automotive service industry.

Today, with the affiliation of the ASE Industry Education Alliance, any NATEF-accredited secondary program can employ the AYES model for their Collision, Truck and/or Automobile technology programs. See  Get Started

My colleague, Tom Richardson, one of the architects of the early AYES model, is fond of saying, “It’s all about relationships.” Remarkably simple in concept, those crucial relationships begin with the program’s advisory committee.  Invariably, in my experience, at the foundation of a good auto program is a strong program advisory committee. This is especially true when it comes to work-based learning programs; arranging job sites, career exploration and job shadowing activities, identifying mentors, interviews, and intern placement. For more on development of advisory committees,read  Advisory

    Read what NADA has to say about AYES  NADA ROI   If you are a employer reading this check out the intern value calculator on this NADA post.
Read Mentor Intern success stories
    

      Where does a quality program start? If you have a motivated instructor you are off to a good start. Good teachers always seek more ways to serve their students, improve their program and grow in their profession.  Read Remarkable Program, Remarkable Teacher
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Here is an AYES Mentor, an ASE Master Technician that is proud of his accomplishments displaying his ASE credentials along with his family pictures.  See Our Partners
 A good mentor, like a good teacher, is hard to describe. We are asking he/she to be amazing at times. You are a teacher and you have many students and a facility to keep up, but you also have support people that help you and provide structure. We are asking the mentor to teach and make their living at the same time. The mentor may have issues with their life at times also that affect them. You, the teacher, also need to be available to the mentor and intern for support when needed.
Your school may have a work-based learning teacher or coordinator assigned to work with student and employers. See How to work with your Work Based Learning Coach
        See Advisory for more on Advisory committee development.
        Let’s assume you have a good working Advisory Council that supports you and your students. If we look at a time line See link to calender we would see that the August, September meeting would be a good place to start the hunt for new mentors. These individuals are not hard to find, yet they can be difficult to develop and turn them into stakeholders. During your visits to the franchises and retail shops in your area of operation, get to know the technicians and managers. Discover the ones that have the attitude of a mentor candidate. Look for leadership and patience, someone who is a professional, that replicated/cloned would be an asset to the business, and the community. A role model so to speak. They come in all sizes and ages, but the defining attribute is they like people and want to give back to the community the best their craft has to offer. Good mentors are teachers, probably the best example of a teacher there is. All truly good teachers are mentors.  Selecting mentors is a challenge to match each one to the right intern. It takes a lot of time and is not something you do with form letters or phone calls. You have to study people, personalities and emotions.
         We hold classes each spring  called “Train the Trainer” for the purpose of training the teacher to work with student interns and mentors. To learn more about T3 and sign up for the classes. Go to  Train the Trainer
         AYES model gives you access to the documents, forms and manuals that cover every aspect of the school to career process with proven methods that work. No reason to roll your own or reinvent the wheel. We know what you need and have a proven plan for success. We know you will have problems placing 17 year olds. We have best practices we can share for that. We know you will have problems getting the attention of the right people at the businesses. We can help with that also. 
      I feel this summer internship in the AYES model becomes the most important experiential learning experience the student will have in secondary education. It is learning at the Master’s elbow in a contextual environment that can’t easily be reproduced in an academic based education system. It gives the student the experience without the dangers associated with winging it on their own in a career that in my opinion is unlike any other.
      For the nuts and bolts of an internship I recommend you develop your paperwork to involve the business, the mentor, the intern and the parents in a clear legal chain of responsibility that covers all areas of the program. The resources on the NATEF/AYES website are time tested and very adaptable to your program. Why reinvent the wheel? You can call your ASE Alliance manager for assistance.  See Find my Field Manager
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Herb Hoffman, Service Manager of Infiniti and Subaru of Gwinnett is active with the local NATEF accredited program @ Maxwell High School of Technology. Herb is very positive that the AYES model is the way to “Grow your Own” for the dealerships he manages.   See Testimonials                               Herb is a big supporter of Job Shadowing.                Read more  Job Shadowing equals Internship Success
      Now some stories. I was at a dealership to talk with a potential mentor, I first went in to the service manager’s office to talk with him and get his support for the intern to be selected.  Read More
                                                                                                               Always be mindful of their time…..tpwu
       2013-11-13_12-27-01_602          These high school students are lined up to get their ASE Student Certification and patch from their instructor during an Advisory Committee meeting in 2013. Soon they will be going to interviews, job shadowing and looking forward to their future. The instructor, Marlo Miranda  at this NATEF program does a good job involving his advisory and places a lot of Juniors in industry using the AYES model. Marlo’s graduating Seniors are usually spoken for before they graduate. His Advisory Committee meetings are held at noon with a catered lunch and last one hour. They are well attended and focus on the students. Read more on Teenagers as Interns
Placements don’t always go as expected. Read more about a unique intern
Image
2008 L to R, Josh,  AYES Intern, Levon Tarver BMW Tech AYES Graduate,  in background Shane Brown, BMW Master Tech and AYES mentor to Levon and Josh. Josh is @ Butler BMW in Macon Georgia Levon is now the instructor of the automotive program @ Hutchings Career Center in Macon Georgia. Levon started as an intern with Butler BMW at the age of 16. Josh started at 17. The service manager and owners took the time to look past the chronological age and saw the value in these teenagers.  His story is remarkable. Read More About this young mans accomplishments.
Master GM Technician George  with former AYES intern Tim Jonesgeorge
George a GM Master Technician @ Walker Olds Cadillac GMC in Carrollton Georgia on right with Tim Jones who was one of the first placements out of a new AYES program. Tim is now a GM master and working with new students at the dealership. George mentored many students in his career. Not all worked out as Tim did. Read More
George explaining the GM service information to two job shadowing students. GM and many of our Alliance partners share service information with NATEF schools using the AYES model.George 2
T. K. McKinney at her internship @ O’Reilly’s. This student went to work at age 16 in her first internship Read her story here TK @ORielly's
        These stories are not unique to my experience. Instructors using the AYES model across the nation see success and sometimes problems. We welcome you to join with us to develop the next generation of students in the transportation industry.
        I hope you are interested in adding AYES model to your NATEF program. Or you are looking into NATEF accreditation for your school. Give the NATEF or the AYES office a call.  We are always ready to help the pursuit of excellence in Automotive education.  For more information on our Alliance,  Go To      The ASE Industry Education Alliance Family of Organizations
AYES model is open to any NATEF accredited Automotive Collision, M/HD Truck program in a secondary school.

An update on Advisory Council Ideas

September 13, 2013
A very good young teacher I visited recently told me he was having problems with his advisory committee meetings. It seems his supervisors want to have central meetings with all the advisory councils combined. This is the surest way to kill an Advisory Committee.  I will take out references to his name and share the note I wrote him.
Hi new Teacher,

 I am very proud of your accomplishments, your use of technology is outstanding.
You asked me about Advisory Committees as you know when I was a teacher like you I had a very good active advisory which after the instructor first,  is the foundation of a dynamic Career Technical program.  You may recall that the Business and Education Advisory council for the Automotive program at Hutchings was composed of 38-44 people covering all interested industries, and the business community in Macon. The meetings were well attended and you might find the Mayor and automotive Industry VIPs from as far off as California and New York such was the interest in the program. see http://www.schooltube.com/video/21bfb1980a694e83a98e/AYES%20B&E%20Meeting Video of last meeting I hosted. You can see some key people here at this meeting along with the mayor.
Here are some tried and true rules and guides for a strong advisory council for your program. There are many more and a guide on the NATEF web site. Here are the ones I feel you are asking about.
Automotive people are very busy and must know,  What’s in it for me?  They have to see the return on investment. Unless they have children in the system/school they could care less about the scores on the test of the month or the rising/falling grades. Even though many times the dealerships are the largest tax generators in the county they just don’t understand education. Making them sit in a meeting while educators/administrators talk “Ed Speak” for an hour or more kills their interest and they Won’t be back. 
Do not call them on the end of the month or the first, don’t call them after 4 pm or before 10 am, They are busy with customers. Don’t schedule a meeting during those times, it won’t work!
A Tuesday or Thursday lunch meeting in the middle of the month with a guaranteed hour only for the meeting was my promise to them. 11:30 to 12:30 will work best.
Evening meetings are OK but you have to plan on after 6 pm and again only an hour. Attendance was always less. For 16 years of having four meetings a year I will say that a lunch meeting works best. Plan the agenda to meet your NATEF requirements carefully. Send the agenda items by email or snail mail or better yet hand deliver and have a chat with the member at least a month before the planned meeting. It is good to hand deliver a printed invitation. I would then visit for a few minutes at least a week before as a reminder and to possibly answer any questions about the agenda. A phone call to remind them is good the week of the meeting and then a call in the AM of the meeting day. I always had a poised articulate student do the calls for me on the day of the meeting. Always remind the attendee that they are important, this is their training program and they and any employee or supervisor is welcome.
The Culinary Arts program catered the meetings and that worked very well. Actually the quality of the meals was aways a hit with the members. They were impressed with the students and the food. During the meeting my students would video the meeting and take pictures as the meeting went on. Several times the Mayor’s photographer came and did a photo shoot. After the meeting ask if any want to tour the shop and observe a class in session. This gives the members a chance to meet the high quality student you have.
The key points here are these advisory councils will grow and succeed on your efforts. They are the stakeholders by virtue of the tax they pay. They should learn that your students are the “Farm Team” for their “Major League” businesses.
Explaining the features and benefits of your students and their training will open their eyes to the resource you can be as the filter and proving ground for their future employees.  An active advisory can be such a benefit to your students it would be a shame to abuse the members with poorly planed meetings that do not meet their business needs. You have been in the real world of work, you know how it works. Common sense approach to people that answers the Whats in it for me? question will always be better than asking the business person to come to the school just because some one wants to check a box off on a form to go in a file cabinet. Just as you have transition from a technician that teaches to a teacher of technicians, you must convert business people that attend into stakeholders that will support, promote and give student opportunities.
You can also visit this article  for more tips on successful Advisory committees
I hope this helps.
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Why would I want to be an Automotive Technician?

February 20, 2013

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Picture from; http://tinyurl.com/6huzch5

A lot of people are telling young people that they should be anything but an auto technician or be in the auto industry at all.  Many private collages promote automotive careers that pay well but with huge student loans. Most students are not aware that great opportunity’s with OEMS are sometimes fully funded if they are qualified.  Sure in some areas Micky D’s pays more to start, but what will you be doing next year or the years after? ( http://autop.ro/3Kr ) and they furnish tools and such to flip burgers and teach you to ask if they want fries with that.
Many dealerships don’t know where the nearest auto training school or technical college is at, as they are so focused on sales.  Nor do the local auto teachers know who or how to to talk to the business so they can have a business and educational beneficial relationship. Somehow we need to fix this gap in communication.

Sadly our industry’s workers are getting older as we speak  and with technology exceeding the wildest predictions of the engineers that create driver less cars and exotic powered engines we need younger, smarter technicians to service the vehicles of tomorrow right now!

Many criticize the current trend to get students into the auto industry via low tech positions. Sir Ken Robinson points out the deficiency of of current educational system in this TED talk. many of his points are very relevant to a hands on approach to learning.

http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html

Be sure to watch Sir Ken’s other talks to understand his focus.

Many drop outs are prime candidates for the hands on training required to “Fix things” in many areas of expertise.

Here is what started this dialogue; please do not read this blog with out reading James’ story!

Wired Mag Article on James Hamilton, who started as an auto mechanic.  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/02/james-hamilton-amazon/

I asked James a question in this email;

Hi James, I read the wired article that said you started as an auto mechanic.

 My biggest challenge today is to get young people to consider a career as an auto technician. We have programs to start them but the student or the parent does not see the future in being a technician as rewarding. Could I have your thoughts on this?
I know your time is very valuable.
Thank you,
James replied;

“I might understand why some folks might find automotive technician less exciting than, say, fighter pilot. But when it comes to rewarding and to thinking through whether automotive technician is a rewarding role, I would say two things: 1) What is truly unrewarding is to not have a job and 2) what you learn as a mechanic can be applied and remain useful for entire lifetime. I learned an incredible amount as an automotive mechanic and I’m really happy I made that choice back when I was 17. Getting through an formal apprenticeship and becoming a licensed mechanic taught me the discipline and the focus to succeed at that role and gave me the confidence to take on others. The skills I learned at 17, I still apply today.
I see resumes all the time that have periods where the candidate was unemployed or weren’t challenging themselves and weren’t learning. It’s a mistake.” end of quote.

I know my personal journey was difficult and not of the standard of the day. I struggled with learning in traditional school after the 8th grade and dropped out after the ninth (see the blog http://semperfigeorgia.wordpress.com/for details)  trade school or Technical school/college as it is now was my salvation. Growing up on a farm and hating it was what drove me to cars and working on them, I wanted to learn to fix them so I could go somewhere I was not. The local junkyard with it’s old cars was much more exciting than hoeing a pea field all day in the hot sun. Having a car as a teenager gave me a power I could relate to.  I took the road less traveled and never looked  in the rear view mirror.

Regrets I have a few but that which is with out repair is without regard! I would rather be a happy ditch digger than an unhappy king.

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AYES, Automotive Yes! Why should I have an AYES program?

August 23, 2011

Automotive Youth Educational Systems and School to Career Opportunities.

When we go to purchase something like a automobile we look for the features and benefits. If the car does not have the features I want or require, then I may not buy the car. Here is a story tellers view of the question “Why should I have an AYES program ?”

A new dealership had opened and I wanted to meet the owner to let him know about my AYES program www.ayes.org; so I called for an appointment after school so I could stop by on my way home. The new dealership was expansive,  high tech, and geared for sales and service with all operations in one location.   The old one he had bought out was small and family owned. The new dealership was a GM franchise. I have students at another GM dealership nearby in another city. The day of the appointment I arrived fifteen minutes early, presented my card and asked the receptionist to tell Mr. Dealer I was there for our 4:30 appointment.

see https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/2009/11/ for this  story on Advisory Committee building.

I wandered around the showroom and when the sales people found out I was not buying they immediately ignored me. After about an hour a person came out and handed me a check for $50.00 made out to the school. I said “What’s this?” and was told that was the amount they gave to schools as they assumed I was here about the Yearbook. I quickly explained this was not my purpose, as I handed back the check and began explaining my AYES program to the owner. He, then, introduced me to all the key staff. The dealership and I began a long and mutually beneficial relationship where we placed many students through the years. Eventually all the dealerships in that small county were on the Advisory Committee. Did the owners show up at all the meetings? No. Did some one from the dealership attend? Not always, but enough came to where I always had enough to do business. Would they have attended if all I had done was call on the phone or write a letter? No.

This is one the major benefits of an AYES program. The development of a active Business and Education Advisory Committee is so much easier with the power of AYES. While NATEF accreditation validates your program, AYES gives you the relationships to open doors at the dealerships. When I first attended an AYES conference Don Gray was speaking on the value of relationships and I being new to AYES followed his plan to build relationships so that my students would benefit.  “It is all about relationships” Don Gray

I can make a call or an email to the key people at our OEM partners of AYES and have someone that knows me, has a interest in our interns and possibly help with the hiring of the intern by a reluctant dealership. The relationships we build at our conferences and meetings is priceless in today’s employment market.

We could look at the tangible features of AYES like the resources of OEM service and training. Online we have the latest service information and finest training from the partners of AYES. Our partners also open their training centers doors for AYES instructors each summer on a space available basis so that we can obtain our 40 hours of Service Training. Honda has for several years set aside a week for instructors to train at their Southeast Training Center. I used the Honda curriculum materials to train a class for one semester. I told the students they were special and this was Honda training developed for them, only this class was privileged to use the training and they respected that by applying themselves to the tasks. Now a few years later those same students that were trained as entry level “Express Service Techs” are at the same dealerships they were interned at and now enjoying gainful employment in their chosen career.

I do feel that the benefit that is worth the most is “intangible” and this benefit relates back to the development and maintenance of the Business and Industry Council. It is through those relationships we build every day as an instructor of an AYES program that our programs grow! Our students are introduced to the world of work, interviewed, job shadow and intern with their mentor at the businesses in our communities. This why we say that AYES is the premier “School to Work Career Model” in the USA.

To learn more about AYES visit http://www.ayes.org   To learn more about NATEF visit http://www.natef.org

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

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

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