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Teachers get creative to make hands on classes work virtually

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 8:06 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) -There are dozens of courses that fall under the umbrella of Career and Technical Education courses with the Craven County School System, and while they cover a wide range of careers and topics they are all very hands on classes.

Part of all return to school plans include making a plan for every student, regardless of speeds needs or ability.
Part of all return to school plans include making a plan for every student, regardless of speeds needs or ability.

So when schools decided to remain completely online for the first 9 weeks of school in Craven County, CTE Teachers had to get creative with how to make their unique curriculum work.

Holly Tolston is the Director of Career and Technical Education for the district and she says it’s taken a lot of time, effort and collaboration between educators to make online CTE classes work.

“Many of these classes are very hands on and in a virtual setting this does present challenges but our teachers are working diligently, they’re collaborating across the district,” said Tolston.

In order meet the requirements of these classes teachers are also having to think outside of the box to get kids the supplies they need to take on these different projects.

“Some teachers are sending kits home to students with the supplies that students need in order to create the object or complete the assignment, students are videoing themselves doing assignments and submitting them,” said Tolston.

For Kevin Reese who teaches Culinary Arts are New Bern High school that’s meant preparing meal kits. “One of the recipes I want to do is a potato soup so I’ll put bags together for all of my students for the classes that I’ll be doing it with and we’ll go through it and we’ll make something like the potato soup together,” said Reese.

CTE Classes can range from Culinary Arts to Engineering, Automotive, Nursing, and many others. Quite a few of these classes can also lead students to earn credentials for completing the course. For nursing that could mean becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, those credentials require students to do many different things and tests. Which has been another issue with online learning.

“Many times credentials are jobs and then it affects their family income of their income or their ability to get that job they wanted,”said Tolston.

The Department of Public Instruction has said that all of these courses can be completed virtually, which means that teachers are now also ensuring that their students can still earn those credentials.

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