October 1st, 2016
Dear NYSTEEA Members,
For more than 64 years the New York State Technology and Engineering Educators Association (NYSTEEA) has been promoting technological literacy across New York State. As the new leader of NYSTEEA, I want you all to know that I value and respect the history and evolution of our unique and important discipline, and I hope to continue moving this organization forward in a positive and impactful way.
Technology and engineering educators are some of the best positioned professionals to prepare our next generation for success in the world of work, engineering, and life skills. I was reminded of this yet again last week at my school’s annual “Back to School” night where a parent approached me and told me that her son was having a really hard time adjusting to 6th grade. He had come home one day and said, “Ms. Gallo makes me feel like I have everything under control. Maybe I’m going to be ok.” The parent also reported that after that day her son was more relaxed and better able to focus.
This particular student has many learning disabilities and often struggles in school. I have seen struggling students time and time again find successes in the technology education classroom that they cannot find elsewhere. Yesterday, I observed this same student using strategies that I taught him to help figure out how to follow instructions properly and measure. I am wholeheartedly impressed with his decision to take his learning into own hands and attempt to continue to persevere even when he is having trouble. These skills of determination, focus, dedication, and perseverance are only a few of the important skills that technology education teachers give their students on a regular basis.
Even though other subject areas get much of the spotlight, we know that students make real connections in our technology education classrooms and have the opportunity to apply their knowledge. All of the time I hear students say, “This is like what we learned in math!” or, “This is what we learned in science!” Yes – and now through technology education we are taking the next crucial step and applying those concepts to real-life problems.
Technology education teachers around the state have grabbed the education system by the horns to promote themselves as the backbone of STEM education initiatives. A group of technology teachers in Chappaqua have worked together with science and math teachers to build a new STEM center. A group of technology teachers and business and industry partners from Western New York put on STEM Wars – a day for students to interact with local manufacturers and businesses to learn more about careers in Chautauqua county. These are just two of the impactful collaborations happening all around NYS in the field of technology education. Now more then ever, you need to promote technology education in every way you can. Show off your students and their work to colleagues, friends, and at conferences. Please consider sharing your story (see sidebar) with NYSTEEA to be promoted on our social media pages or in the next journal.
NYSTEEA is going to continue promoting the importance of technology education in our public schools. We continue our involvement in the changes in legislation surrounding the Multiple Pathways to Graduation Program, CDOS credentials, and the new Every Student Succeeds Act. To be involved with these changes, check our social media pages for updates about how to connect with us and look out for “calls to action” on ways to give your input and make an impact on pressing topics. We also have been working tirelessly this summer on updating communications and are developing a new website that will make your membership more valuable.
We are busily planning what will be an incredible 54th Annual Conference on March 23rd and 24th in Malta, NY at the TEC-Smart Center at Hudson Valley Community College. The theme of the conference is “B-STEM: Be a STEM Teacher, Advocate, and Leader.” We are looking for presenters and would love to hear what you’ve been doing in your classroom around STEM. Apply to present directly on our website.
I look forward to personally meeting each of you at the annual conference.
President of NYSTEEA