Wow! What journey we have been on in the last five months. One day last March, teachers at STEDY were preparing for students to take their industry certification exams in person and then the next day teachers were serving our students with on-line instruction. Never, did we expect to hear phrases like “new normal,” “social distancing” or “hybrid instruction” referred to as often as they are today.
Thank you for your interest in the Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY).
The STEDY family is excited to welcome our newest family member, San Juana “SJ” Macias. SJ is the Program Management Specialist for our district and brings with her a tremendous wealth of knowledge. We are confident in the service she will provide our students and community. Her professional skills make her a perfect fit for STEDY.
Happy New Year! January is an interesting time of the year. New Year resolutions are made. Some are kept. And some are not. Although we reach our lowest temperatures of the year, spring approaches. There is much anticipation for new beginnings. It is also an interesting time for school districts. For most, it marks the start of the spring semester. Students and staff have returned from the winter recess and are energized to complete the school year with continued success.
As a “baby boomer” education today is much different from when I went to high school. Gone are the days when we sat in rows and read aloud from textbooks. The lesson plans of yester-year contained exercises that would measure my rote memory. My, how things have changed! No longer do we hear “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Instead, students today hear, “what problems do you want to solve?” The expectations educators have these days are to prepare students for jobs that don’t even exist. However, since time flies so fast, those jobs will be here before we know it and to prepare today’s student for tomorrow’s workforce, the Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY) has arisen.
As any teacher can tell you, they spend a lot of time on thinking. They spend a lot of time planning, assessing and evaluating thinking. And as an educator for nearly 30 years, I too have done my share of thinking about thinking. But, you don’t need to be a teacher to enjoy thinking about thinking.
Look how far we’ve come! As we approach the end of our school year, we were reflecting on how far, how fast we have progressed this year. STEDY has come to the completion of our first year in operation. With that, please see some of the things we were up to in our first year. While the list below is broad, it is not complete. To mention everything STEDY has accomplished would be tedious. Many items on the list may seem rather negligible, never-the-less they are a “first” and represent a landmark for STEDY....
We often hear an adult ask grade school students; "What do you want to do when you grow up?" The fact of the matter is, according to the MacArthur Foundation, close to 65 percent of elementary students will have jobs in the future that don't exist today. And while an interest in a particular vocation is important, being successful is not necessarily solely dependent on interest. At STEDY, we have a desire to help students reach their dreams, perhaps the most important thing we can do is enable their entrepreneurial skills. Since many of the jobs of tomorrow don't exist today, those students that have developed an entrepreneurial mindset will have more opportunities even if their career of interest doesn't work out. They will have the knowledge and ability to take concrete steps to do something and learn from the outcome. As enablers of entrepreneurship it is important for us to encourage students to make personal connections and help them become involved in face-to-face opportunities so they can meet potential mentors, partners, and experts. It has been said entrepreneurship is a team-sport.
Although STEDY's primary mission is to support students interested in career and technical education, don't assume this "vocational" intent is the same as it once was. The vocations of "yester-year," such as those in manufacturing, were considered to be low skilled, low pay and forever associated to be part of the industrial revolution. Today, vocations even those in manufacturing, require highly technical expertise. As a matter of fact, there are some that say we are entering a new industrial revolution as a result of the exponential growth in technology. The "industrial internet" will create a smarter factory floor connecting people and machines across society. This will lead to more efficient and faster collaboration reshaping global labor markets. The outdated perception of the dirty shop floor is now replaced by "clean rooms" yielding well paid careers for those that possess the hands-on skills and certifications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an industrial production manager in manufacturing is $92,470, while a mechanical engineer in manufacturing earns a median salary of $83,060.