Technology teachers are often the forgotten group that works with students no one else likes to teach, or at least this is one of the perceptions. I have often heard the negative term dumping ground. As we all know, technology programs are not mandatory and we must compete for students. This is directly related to budgets and jobs. Having many students usually means more budget money and jobs. Tech teachers are phenomenal at problem-solving, especially when it calls for stretching a buck and delivering enriched programs. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The students benefit from the program; however, this can give administration a reason for lowering the budget amounts.
So why promote technology? Even if you have a decent budget and an understanding administration, promotion of technology is necessary for the following reasons:
How can you promote your program?
When promoting your technology program, always include administration in your conversations. This makes them part of the solution, and they will always have input. Be aware of what makes administration support a program, and ask their advice. Encourage your principal to invite an SO and trustee to visit. This is key, given the constant media coverage concerning the shortage of skilled individuals. It’s been a feature in the latest budget again, and emphasis is being put on it, with the new renaming of the MTCU to MAESD. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is now the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. That’s got to mean something.
Research and use a Labour Market Analysis to develop the statistics that back up the need for skilled trade and technology trained individuals in your area. The local Chamber of Commerce and organizations such as the Canadian Welding Association can assist with this. Not only will they provide information as to the needs of the community, they will also give you an idea as to the job market for your students.
These are some promotion examples.
Your promotion plan should concentrate on thinking about the following areas:
Curriculum and Facilities:
Consultant for Science and TechnologyDurham Catholic District School Board