Local teachers participate in TECHsperience

Local teachers participate in TECHsperience
Posted on 06/13/2018
Local teachers participate in TECHsperience Just days after the end of their regular school year, 19 high school teachers gathered at Northeast Tech’s Afton Campus for a unique summer camp geared toward educators.

“This is the third time this event has been organized within our district, but it’s the first time it’s been hosted at our campus,” said Northeast Tech Afton Student Advisor Tobie Gatewood. “We often hear, ‘I had no idea you did that at Tech,’ so this event is just one more way for us to educate our stakeholders about what’s possible with CareerTech training.”

The day-and-a-half long workshop was designed to give high school educators a hands-on learning experience with their local CareerTech Center. They would get to know Northeast Tech’s instructors and learn about not only the training that takes place at Northeast Tech, but also the job opportunities available to students once they complete a program.

“We want these local teachers to have an in-depth knowledge of what we offer, because their students depend on that guidance,” Gatewood said. “Too often we hear that Northeast Tech is the best kept secret in Oklahoma, so we’re working hard to make sure we don’t remain a secret.”

TECHsperience began with introductions and a brief overview of the district. Before long, the guests were in the Northeast Tech classrooms learning a variety of new skills.
“Our instructors did a fantastic job of sharing information about what’s taught in each program as well as the job outlook for students who complete our programs,” said Northeast Tech Afton Campus Director Dr. Curtis Shumaker. “It was a great networking opportunity for everyone that participated.”

TECHsperience participants were divided into small groups and led through a variety of activities in five of the Northeast Tech programs. In Pre-Engineering, guests were tasked with building and successfully launching a rocket, while another group learned how to operate a drone and became familiar with the technology used in the Animation and Digital Technology Program. Meanwhile, across the campus, the third group of teachers learned about the job outlook in the Auto Collision field before trying their hand at airbrushing.

“I really liked the auto collision activity, because I like cars, I like to work on cars and it was neat to see that,” said Amber Harrison of Grove. “A long time ago I used to do some air brushing, so it’s neat to see that’s still a skill students can learn to go into the field and make a living that way.”

The guests rotated through all three programs during the first day and returned for a second day to visit the Health Careers and Electrical Programs. In Health Careers, they picked up a few new phlebotomy skills before heading over to the electrical shop for a wiring activity.

John Medlin, a teacher at Commerce High School, most enjoyed learning how to draw blood and give shots, but he also walked away with a new appreciation for the Northeast Tech instructors.

“I was surprised at not only the breadth of the programs being offered, but also at the depth of the instructors’ knowledge,” Medlin said. “When you see how much knowledge the instructors have and how they can benefit the students, it leaves a big impression.”

As the program came to a close at the end of the second day, everyone was still smiling as they reflected on their time at TECHsperience. Most, like Ketchum High School Teacher Matthew Bendure, were surprised to learn of the wide variety of programs offered at Northeast Tech.

“Some of it I knew went on, like diesel mechanics and the typical vo-tech programs for those who want to get a job and be productive without going to college,” said Bendure. “What I didn’t expect was the pre-engineering and a lot of the other classes that are for college-bound kids. There really is something for everyone here.”

TECHsperience rotates among Northeast Tech’s four campuses on a yearly basis, giving teachers from throughout the district an opportunity to apply for the program. The program will be hosted at Northeast Tech’s Pryor Campus in the summer of 2019.

“My hope is that the teachers will go back and tell their students, their friends and the people in their community about what this experience was like and what they learned,” Gatewood said. “I think that will change the perspective for our community members and eliminate some of the myths that surround CareerTech training.”
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