Posts Tagged ‘NATEF’

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.

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
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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

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.

Create, Share, Enjoy!

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



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

September 8, 2009
Failed to evolve

Failed to evolve

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

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

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

https://autoteachersonny.wordpress.com/

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

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

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

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

https://autoteacher.net/E_Learning.html

See August post if you missed it

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

Enjoy,

Sonny Reeves

December 2008 Auto teacher News

July 30, 2009

Auto teachers news letter Dec 12, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More next news letter.