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techdirections - March 2017

Re-energize Your Teaching By Attending Conferences

Dale Vandeberg 2017-03-04 00:52:12

BEFORE I started teaching some 6 years ago, I felt very confident about my ability to diagnose some very difficult- to-find issues in the engine control system. As an instructor, one of my main concerns was how to keep that edge and stay relevant in the automotive industry. I figured that I had five years before I really struggled. As an instructor in a NATEF-certified AYES high school program, I had many options for training from various manufacturers and vendors, but none was as exciting and in-depth as what I had received as a technician from the manufacturers. As an instructor, I had attended many seminars and classes, and had heard about the NACAT conferences, but because of scheduling conflicts, had not been able to attend them. I discovered that AYES and NACAT were planning to collaborate, and this was a chance to see what NACAT had to offer. I was looking forward to some new energy, and focus, to help me with a new class I would be teaching for advanced students. I was not to be disappointed. When I arrived, I felt immediately welcome. I met new friends and saw some old ones. When I started attending the training, I was instantly impressed with the presenters. The quality of instruction at each of the seminars was better than I had received for quite some time. I felt that each of the instructors was obviously knowledgeable, and the energy they brought was contagious. I grew more and more excited as each class happened. I found that I was eager to start planning the next year of classes. I had some new resources to help me with my content, and I had also made contact with some new people who I felt were some of the best in the industry. I was excited to be back in the classroom with a new class ready to start with some new ideas and direction. The trade show was a great addition to the seminars. Many of the booths were extensions of the seminars, with books and training aides that were well thought out and useful for students. This gave me an opportunity to get to know the presenters even better and get my hands on some of the resources that were available. I enjoyed seeing what others had come up with to successfully teach some of the technology of today’s vehicles. I left the trade show with an armful of resources to help keep me excited about new student opportunities. The conference was exciting in a way that I hadn’t experienced in quite some time. I felt re-energized and ready to go back to work. I felt very good about still being on the cutting edge of technology and teaching it. I felt this was one of the best investments I had made in time and money in regards to training and getting the excitement back about teaching. I definitely will do this again next year. I would highly recommend the NACAT conference to every automotive instructor for the seminars, relationship, resources, not to mention the fun, friends, and family. NATEF—National Automotive Technicians Foundation AYES—Automotive Youth Educational Systems NACAT—North American Council of Automotive Teachers Reprinted from nacat.org.

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