Welcome to our school, new student

We visited a school that mentioned an interesting (at least to me) policy for their new students.

When a new student comes to the high school one of the orientation stops that they make is with the principal. They get to know each other a bit and they get to talk expectations of the student while they are a member of the school system.

This may be something that you do and everyone else does or it might be a best practice that needs to be shared. Either way I thought the process of sitting down with a student, talking about expectations and welcoming them to their new school was a good one and one that I want to remember if I am ever in that position. 


Young Professionals of CareerTech

Monday night of summer conference I had the opportunity to attend something that I believe will be special, the first event of the Young Professionals of CareerTech.

I am excited about this new initiative from OKACTE and honored to be a part of getting it off the ground. We have only held an organizational meeting to get it started and the first social but I think it has the potential to engage those new to our system and empower them and ignite them and their passions.

I hope you will look for us as we grow this new organization and will consider being a part. Together we will continue to make our system of career and technical education in Oklahoma one of the premier systems in the world.

PS - There is an ACTE Young Professionals group as well: https://www.acteonline.org/youngprofessionals


49th Annual Summer Conference Wrapup

This week was a great week to catch up with old friends, make a few new and be reminded that I am a part of something great! Why, because earlier this week was the kickoff to our year – Summer Conference!

This year was the 49th annual conference held at the beginning of August each year. It is the largest professional development of the year for our teachers, administrators and staff. Annually educators from comprehensive schools, technology centers, colleges, Skills Centers, the state agency and retires gather to begin another year and to learn how to make the educational opportunities our students are engaged in more meaningful. 

The first day was filled with opening sessions, general sessions, closing sessions, breakout sessions and more. Those in attendance heard from legislators, Duane Cummings, awesome “TED” style presentations from students and more. We had the opportunity to hear remarks from the state director and the executive director of OKACTE. We celebrated with our colleagues as they were recognized with various awards and we Tweeted! 

The second day I spent with the Student Services Division and had a great time learning and gaining new insight. The morning kicked off with Andy Masters as he shared how we can Stress More, Be Late for Everything and Die Young! Then I attended sessions on Time Management, Learning Styles, Economic Development in the 21st Century and Employability Skills. Each session provided me with an opportunity to bring something back personally or professionally and I think my work will be improved because of what I was able to pick up. 

In 2011 I started the #OKACTE hashtag and each year it seems to grow. Again this year we trended in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma! 2011 was also the first year we added the live Twitter feed and it has gotten better every year. Recently we added a social media wall before and after the sessions and we fill it with pictures from Twitter and Instagram that have been hashtagged. A couple of weeks ago a trip to Texas and a stay in a hotel sparked an idea for this years newest addition - the Summer Conference frame! Numerous pictures shared this week included those taken in the "selfie booth" and and everyone who took a picture in it looked amazing!

It has been great being a part of helping you interact with your colleagues at conference and I look forward to doing it for years to come. Watch for something great next year as we celebrate the 50th annual summer conference and share our fun with the world! 


Cell Phones in Class

How do you manage cell phones in class?

One school that I recently visited decided it was time to open up the school wi-fi and give students open access. Of course they still use filters and social media is not accessible but students can now use the school resources when they are in class.

If a teacher needs time without the cell phones they have a card system. Red is teachers time - put up the cell phone and pay attention. Green is student time - students can have their cell phones out and use them in class. They simply printed some cards with a cell phone on them, put the red and green sides together and laminated them. Some teachers tape them to the dry erase board, others use a magnet to hold them up and others have other ways. The cards can switch back and forth several times throughout the day.

This has cut down on "discipline problems" related to students having their phones on them at all and has allowed staff to concentrate on teaching and learning instead of who might have a cell phone in their pocket.

What do you think about this policy? What is your school policy? What do you think a good cell phone policy should include?

Red = Teacher Time, No Cell Phones
Green = Student Time, Cell Phones Allowed


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