How CTeLearning Curriculum is Helping a Teacher in NJ Deliver For His Students
It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran teacher or first-year teacher—curriculum and support matter. Many teachers get into teaching because they want to give back and repay their own teachers who helped them reach their goals. Plus, they simply enjoy doing it. Curriculum matters for department chairs and administrators who are trying to stem the tide of teachers exiting education.
Schools can keep veteran teachers by giving them the tools and support to teach and enjoy the time they get to be a part of the students’ lives. New teachers need tools and support to help them get established and find their teaching groove.
At CTeLearning we help students, teachers, department chairs and administrators by delivering innovative curriculum and legendary educator support. West Morris Central High School in New Jersey has been a customer of CTeLearning for a number of years. About an hour east of New York City, West Morris Central is the home of a high-performing STEM and CTE program including Coding and Computer Science, Robotics, Music Production, 3D Modeling, and Computer Programming and Game Design.
We talked with one of our West Morris Central teachers, John Takacs, a 30-year veteran educator who leads the Web and Mobile Game Design course among others. We asked John how our curriculum helps to prepare his students for the real world. John started teaching back when anything that was not core academics was called vocational education—that will take some of you back, right?
How many preps do you have every day?
I have three preparations and five classes plus one duty per day.
Is it getting easier or harder to be a teacher?
It is getting harder to be a teacher because I am tired of constantly re-inventing and re-authoring my courses of study. The CTeLearning courses and their pre-written curriculum is a massive time saver.
It can be difficult getting funding for new curriculum. What did you see about the CTeLearning curriculum that stuck out to you as valuable?
The personalized tech support is worth its weight in gold. I don’t need to worry about FAQs and audio menus and robotic chats.
What do you like about the curriculum?
The embedded industry-recognized certifications are a bonus and a no-brainer. This was a big factor when I went to my BOE for purchase approval. Every CTE educator is focused on the real world and doing the best for our students. Whether my students go on to a four-year college, tech school or straight into industry, I know that industry-recognized certifications matter on a resume or college application. I tell my students to look for ways to distinguish themselves and stand out in the crowd, and the embedded international industry-recognized certifications can be a gamechanger for students.
What does it mean to you to have a curriculum that requires less prep? Does this give you more time to focus on students and enjoy teaching more?
I enjoy not having to plan my course content. Teachers know what I mean by this. The reward of this curriculum was I get to be the teacher and do what I love, which is working with my students, helping them concentrate on their projects, focusing on the design process, and seeing my students produce their games. In teacher-speak, that means having fun.
How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? Did you know teachers are one of the biggest coffee consumers?
I don’t know, the school nurse gives it to me intravenously.
What do you think about CTeLearning’s “legendary educator support” claim?
Their support is very accessible. Emails are responded to in hours (sometimes minutes) instead of days. In many instances, I was able to call and talk to someone on the development team immediately and resolve my issues. When I was worried about being ready for a class on Monday, they met me via Zoom on a Sunday. It is rare to find that kind of support these days.
What do you think is different about working with CTeLearning?
With CTeLearning you get access to their software designers and authors because they really have no salespeople. As a teacher it is rare that you ever get to talk directly to the people who create the curriculum, let alone give them suggestions and then see your suggestions in place just a few hours or few days later. It gives me confidence in what I am teaching, and I know that my experience as a teacher matters to them. With 30 years of teaching experience in many different software environments in the private and public sectors, I give CTeLearning five stars.
What type of curriculum were you looking for?
Every teacher knows that students are learning differently following the changes that occured in education due to COVID-19. Put simply, they are having a more challenging time re-engaging in learning. I was looking to find a curriculum with that extra spark to get my students hooked, and I found it in this Web Game Design curriculum. We also needed something that fit our existing computer programming and game design class. CTeLearning’s new Web Game Design course fits our course requirements like a glove.
Was there anything new you did for your students this year?
CTeLearning partnered with the Web Professionals Organization and created a set of certifications/micro-credentials for remote working. I put all my students through the curriculum and they earned their Remote Working Professional certifications—the international professional organization for all things web. They learned what it means to be professional, work remotely, and be successful in that environment. Actually, I took the certification too. The course also went over interviewing skills and the fundamentals of being a freelancer—or what the students learned is a ‘solopreneur.’ I could see the light bulbs going off as my students went through the course. I wish we had done it before the pandemic, but now my students are ready for whatever comes their way at school or in the workplace—whether in-person or remote.
Learn How Our Curriculum Can Help You and Your Students
Are you a teacher or administrator looking to equip your students with certifications and micro-credentials for their futures? Contact us directly at 913-764-4272 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free demo.