Greetings to Our Attendees
Travis Rice once said, “We’ll never know our full potential unless we push ourselves to find it.” This quote truly underscores the various facets of this years’ conference theme, CTE: The Power of Infinite Possibilities. Is it the process of continuously striving and pushing forward that we are meeting our full potential, or is it that by continuing to strive and push forward while reaching for the next goal why we can never know our full potential? Hopefully, it is the latter. By never knowing our full potential, but by still pushing forward, we can continue to learn, develop and grow beyond limits.
Career and Technical Education is a system designed to help students discover various pathways for a profession and guide them into pushing forward to increase their success and potential in their chosen fields. Yet, even within this system you can continue to push the boundaries and opportunities for your students. For example, a student who once just thought of learning to change his oil, might find a career as a mechanic, but with the right push and incentive, maybe next they will dream of their own shop or even push further into a franchise. Instead maybe that same student becomes fascinated with how an engine works and goes on to a career in mechanical engineering. As long as the desire to reach for more is there, the possibilities are endless.
We cannot predict the future of every profession. Many professions from even 50 years ago are no longer relevant. In the next 20 years, who is to say what professions will come to exist or vanish. This again is why Career and Technical Education is important. By providing an environment that demonstrates classroom knowledge combined with best practices leading to “real world” application and success, you can instill in your students early on the relevance of continuing education and skill training. It is through this continuous development that these students can remain relevant and push themselves further as these new markets and trends develop.
While it is important that you continue to help your students push past their limits and discover new possibilities, you also need to continue to push yourselves as well. This conference is an opportunity for you to push yourself into learning new methods and practices to take back to your classrooms. It a chance to network with industry partners that exhibit and provide sessions to get a glimpse of the current practices of local industries and what new technologies and trends they are leaning towards. What can you take back to your classroom, what new programs can you develop for your district?
As educators you have the opportunity to inspire your students to something more, it is our hope that our conference can help inspire you. We hope that you will continue to push and reach beyond your “full potential”. If you continue to push yourselves and guide your students into doing the same, just how much can everyone grow and develop? If you take just one fact away with you, remember, the true power of Career and Technical Education exists in its ability to meet the future head on and continue to create possibilities for all.