Posts Tagged ‘Automotive Education’

Student Safety Issues in the Automotive Lab

May 19, 2014
A container of caustic carburetor cleaner. No MSD sheet or protective gear.

A container of caustic carburetor cleaner. No MSD sheet or protective gear.

I wish all these pictures were photoshopped and not taken in high schools and tech colleges that are the training centers for our next generation of techs and service employees.

No I will not say where these are taken. I am invited sometimes to visit auto training programs and often asked by the administration to take a look. I am asked to  tell them if they should continue to fund the program or hire another teacher. All of these are the Bad and Ugly of programs. The good have been reported on earlier in posts and there are many fine, high quality programs with motivated instructors. Sadly these “Hobby Shops” are out there and have been going for years. Most of the ones where these pictures come from have been closed or have been overhauled. On these visits I have permission to video and take pictures. I then  cite the safety reasons, NATEF standards and generate a report for the administrators.

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Incandescent glass bulbs should never be used in any shop. Even rough service bulbs heat up and can cause burns and fires.

Just got this http://youtu.be/T7ESQzY6spI  please get rid of any glass incandescent lamps, drop lights etc. Is your lab or student worth a cheap light? Thanks Bob!

Yes the incandescent bulb will cause gasoline to explode if a drop gets on it when hot. Several shops burn every year due to the use of these. The hot metal of the frame will burn skin if touched by a hand or arm. Yes the handle on this light is taped up from a previous pulling out of the cord. IMHO these types of lights have no place in a lab.  I know personally of two retail operations that burned due to the employees use of these lights. I see these in labs. Please get rid of them and use something that will not harm a student.

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Yes that is an old fuel tank under the tires with some type of caustic carburetor cleaner in the 5 gal container. The MSDS on the Carb cleaner was not found but later I looked it up. Very harmful on contact with skin or eyes. No Personal Protective gear such as gloves were found. I asked what it was used for and was told the students clean parts with it. This cleaner is a hazardous materiel and must be disposed of properly
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Note the wire brush has no safety guard. I assume the chair is for sitting if you get tired working? The  grinder was not bolted down and there was no sign of eye protection or face shield. You know a wire brush sheds wire if you have ever used one. If you use one of these wire brushes on a grinder or power tool note that old brushes rapidly shed the wire pieces and they will stick in clothing and skin. Hate to know what they do to an eye. I suggest if you have to have one of these you replace it regularly and have a full face shield for the user. The stack of old tires is a disposal problem, certainly only a few are needed for instruction.

Safety of the student is paramount in any evaluation of a program. If a student is injured during the lab time no matter the cause or outcome, the accident is a problem for the instructor. Even minor issues that are bound to happen like small cuts and such are a hassle. Some instructors have gone their whole career without a serious incident. Operation of an training lab involving sharp objects, extreme temperatures, moving, rotating machines, hazardous chemicals, flammable liquids and gases and high voltage circuits is difficult in a safe organized shop. Teaching in the environment shown here in these pictures would be next to impossible.
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This exhaust hose reel is missing the hose. Running an engine in the lab requires the use of exhaust extraction. Passive systems may work but I doubt the effectiveness on all application. Every time I have observed  a passive system in use, the students complained of head aches. This is due to CO as the first symptom is headache.
The tire machine is not bolted down. I assume the acetylene torch set keeps it nice and secure?2013-01-30_10-44-01_36
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A face shield would be nice. So would proper storage of consumables.

Lot of these older brake service machines give good service, but this one has no safety guard. Note the storage or lack of it. Consumables everywhere in this lab.
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Top heavy machines can tip over and should be bolted down.

Any equipment that is designed by the manufacturer to be bolted down needs to be secured. Floor stripe is history
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Looks like the Exxon Valdez looking for a place to land. What many school systems don’t realize is that OSHA and EPA can fine them for things like this. Besides being a fire hazard the training of future techs is being done here with this as an example to them.

 At least they have a spill containment even if it grossly overloaded. The people at http://www.thenewpig.com can advise schools on what is needed to be compliant. Two students were recently seriously injured at a High School auto shop that was NOT accredited. see http://tinyurl.com/kbezo38
I was called to one of the new Charter School known as County  Academy Center of Technology. Well the name does not make the insides better. This program had been transplanted into a new building and the administration wanted to know why enrollment dropped from when it was at the high school. Anyone that understands children as teens knows they hate to give up their peer group and move to a new school that has no sports or clubs like  a comprehensive high school. These programs can become dumping grounds for the feeder schools. This was the lift that was being used. The welds were broken on the safety latches and this prevents the engagement of the locks for the arms. All four lifts were broken. While there I observed students working with no safety glasses on under the lift. I explained this to the administrator as a safety violation that could put him in jeopardy. Lifts should be certified every year.
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Rust streaks tell the age of the broken safety latch

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This lift is also broken. Improper placement of lift and raising a vehicle not set up correctly caused the arms to force the safety locks. This lock no longer lines up.


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Skateboard!

Clutter. Disorganized storage areas waste instructional time. Flammables are safer stored in lockers designed for containment. Teaching students proper organizational skills is a part of the operation of a lab. I am sure an advisory committee will appreciate a clean well organized lab for the training of their future employees
The same lab had tools and equipment scattered.
This lab was shared with a tech college for a night class with an adjunct instructor. I have not seen this type of program work anywhere. The adjunct instructor often as not is  a by the hour paid teacher and has no “Buy In” towards the program. Often time they are working for a college nearby and must keep up their own lab also, they simply don’t have the time.
Here is an air bag, battery and assorted parts on a steel table.  This project had parts over a wide area. No lab job sheets, task sheets or performance tests means there is a hobby shop atmosphere.

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Use project boxes for lab work that will be left over to next day.

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Gasoline storage is only allowed in approved storage lockers. Not in tool room.

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Batteries are in top right corner and air bag was live

The tool room had no organization and several gas cans with fuel in them. Parts bins can be used for projects. This hobby shop had none visibleDSC01938I opened a locker and found these tools. The administrator continually said how good the instructor was. We asked for safety glasses while we were there and the instructor left the room to find some. He never returned before I left.

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No Flammable locker and gas cans all over. Has no one ever seen a gasoline fire?

Clutter makes it hard for students to find the right tool or the part they were using. When I observe a lab like this I know that the instructor is overwhelmed and overworking because of a lack of organizing skills on the instructor’s part. Safe operation of this lab is almost impossible. No wonder the turn over for auto teachers is high.
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The main issue here is all the electrical demands of the shop floor are fed by the extension cord plugged in on the center of the wall. There was no organization of any of the tools or equipment.

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This is right in the lab with a plastic trash can nearby to add to the mix. These plastic trash cans give off poisonous fumes when they burn in the lab. Nice !

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This school is in a very well off county with lots of tax dollars. Seems the school board wanted to close the program. I was asked to evaluate the program. Over 60 auto dealers with in 20 miles and the only contact was a few phone calls to invite the dealers to an open house a few years ago. The teacher had been cut to half time.

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The instructor had cleaned up for my visit and had hauled off many truck loads of junk left over from a teacher that had retired. The admin of the school just wanted the problem to go away. This one is closed now.

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General clutter with no organized learning area. Hard to tell if anything safe can be accomplished.

 

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Outback we find oil drums with unidentified liquids in them. Who is responsible?

https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/outback-and-in-sight-used-oil-and-safety-glasses-or-how-many-lawyers-do-you-know/

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A tool locker for special tools?

Special tools are just that “Special” Students should be taught that they command respect from their users.
Instructors should realize that every tool should have a place identified and well marked with the name of the tool, operation manual included for proper storage of the special tool. The assumption that any student would know how to find or use a special tool is, well foolish.

 

 

 

 

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This lab was considered by the administration to be the best possible . This clutter was here on two separate visits.

Battery eye wash

This lab is totally redone with new equipment and quality instructors. On the day of the visit when this was taken the school resource officers arrested a student with drugs in the lab. Now on the advisement from the advisory committee new teachers were hired and the program is now one of the best.

lab classroom

A classroom in the lab area is sometimes unavoidable. While not the best situation. Safety Glasses must be worn by all persons in the room when work is being done. This program had lost their accreditation a few years before this picture. The program has since been totally overhauled.

The schools often don’t see the safety issue as some unsafe practices are accepted in industry believe it or not!

Outside storage is cluttered and unused parts seem to collect in these places.

Outside storage is cluttered and unused parts seem to collect in these places.

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Here you have a old valve machine, a differential out of something and two cans of AC refrigerant along with a grinder missing guards and brake drums. The point of this picture is that there is no instructional organization.

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An antique machine that never caught on to handle a very hazardous material.

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
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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.

Developing a Program Advisory Committee

May 14, 2013

An Advisory Committee, or as what AYES calls, Business and Education Council does not come about in a vacuum. Ideally some one in the education sector decides they want input from the customer and asks advice of the future employers of the student who will be trained in the school. This could be a simple request or a detailed process. Hopefully we will build a symbiotic relationship that builds a win-win attitude for all stakeholders. Developing an active advisory takes time and effort on the part of the instructor and the key stakeholders at the school. I have never known of a excellent program that did not have a dynamic advisory that gives input, guidance and encouragement to the program.

Lowndes County High School Advisory for the Automotive Program

High School Advisory Meeting with former students,  business owners, service managers, technicians, school administrators, parents. interns and interested individuals.

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Nothing good comes from an advisory council that meets only to pat each other on the back and agree to meet again next time with nothing accomplished because each person and entity is focused on their own agenda, hidden or otherwise. For example a school has students ready to be hired but they have not graduated or are under 18. The advisory members say “No” our insurance prohibits us from hiring them. The school says “No” we can’t let students off campus to job shadow or interview independently at your dealership during school hours. This is Lose-Lose for everyone and yet we see advisory councils that run like this. No one is flexible or wants to think out side the box. I call this type of advisory a “Mutual Appreciation Society” and often this is the case.  Sometimes the school will hold advisory meetings and invite everyone to a large meeting of all the career fields in one place. The educators will tell the business people that attend what the educators have done and accomplished, often in “Edspeak” jargon and then proceed to tell the business people what they need to do to promote what ever the educators want to do. This has a tendency to drive the business person away because they see no benefit to their business in the meeting. In these trying times business needs to know that the program is a sustaining resource for future employees at every level of the automotive industry. Many instructors are unaware of who is at the dealership as the dealership or shop is unaware they as the taxpayer own the program. I much prefer the AYES model of the business becoming a stakeholder in the program. This requires a sharing of oversight and development that is a learning process for all involved. The first step is to build relationships and this takes time. In building my first advisory committee I went to a new dealership I had never visited. New owner and people from out of town had bought out and built a new dealership. I called and introduced my self and asked for an appointment with the owner. I arrived a few minutes early and gave my card with the school’s name on it to the receptionist. I wandered around the showroom and when the sales people found out I was not buying they 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 their amount they gave to schools as they assumed I was here about the yearbook. I quickly explained and soon was handing back the check and explaining my AYES program to the owner. The owner introduced me to all the key staff and the dealership 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. 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. My mentor in AYES taught me to visit and build the relationship from the top down. Then develop the relationship with the service manager and technicians. Visit one month before the meeting. Give them a copy and overview of the agenda. Give them action items to work on, Write them a week before and call a day before to remind them. Have the meeting around a lunch hour if you can. We have found this works best. Have them on a Thursday in the middle of the month also works best for me.

How about those other members you need, like parents and community members? I suggest attending the Rotary, Lions, Exchange and community clubs. Ask the membership if you can get on the program and have a Skills USA student do a very short presentation on your program. I have found this is a good way to get donations and support. Pick a parent with care, beware of hidden agenda in any one invited. Enjoy the ride!

Visit the NATEF web site www.natef.org for tips on building and maintaining your advisory. See http://www.natef.org/advisory_committee.cfm for the how to and what to do. Here are the required inputs from the advisory to meet NATEF standards

https://autoteacher.net/uploads/AdvisoryCommitteeTaskswithinNATEFSta.doc

Here is a video of an actual advisory committee lunch meeting.

http://www.schooltube.com/video/21bfb1980a694e83a98e/AYES%20B&E%20Meeting

Here is a set of interviews with advisory members, student interns, teachers

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA5AAB9BB025236BC

See for more information        https://autoteacher.net/NATEF_Certification.php

HTH,

Sonny

sonnyjreeves@hotmail.com www.autoteacher.net

TEFGA is All About Student Success in Transportation Careers

February 1, 2013

Transportation Education Foundation of Georgia organizes the Career Expo for the Georgia State SkillsUSA Conference to be held March 21, 22 @ the Georgia International Convention Center. This is one of our best kept secrets in Career Education. You and your company need to be involved in this awesome gathering of career focused young people.

Here is a report from the TEFGA .org site on last year’s Expo:

The 2012 SkillsUSA Career Expo and Championships was a huge success with over 7,000 participants. TEFGA   _2013TEFGA Fact Sheet    helped to organize the largest student focused career expo in the state, in which for two exciting days students are able to explore different career opportunities within the transportation fields, network with industry representatives and discover the options available for post-secondary education. The best students from across the state competed in competitions to test their transportation knowledge. These contests ranged from Automotive Service Technology and Collision Repair to Diesel Equipment Technology to Fight Operations and Aviation Service. Other contests tested student’s knowledge of small engines and marine and motorcycle service. The results were students realizing their goals and being rewarded for their hard work, through prizes, recognition and often scholarships for additional education.

To see the top teams in the nation compete  http://www.hotroddersoftomorrow.com/ Georgia has three of the top five teams for 2012.

The Georgia SkillsUSA Conference  http://www.skillsusageorgia.org/

To volunteer to work with the expo, To have your company showcased at the expo,  To meet some of the best young people focused on technical careers contact Erin.

For more information on how you can get involved in TEFGA’s activities to build Georgia’s future workforce in the transportation industries, please contact Erin Studstill:

Visit our Facebook Page Follow us on Twitter

Email: erinstudstill@tefga.org

Click on the links for more information.

SkillsUSA_CareerExpo_Flyer

Video from 2011 Expo and Skills Conference,  http://tefga.org/Videos.htm

http://tinyurl.com/2013-SkillsUSA-CareerExpo

TEFGA Expo and Skills Sponsorship Form

2013TEFGA General Donation Form

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

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