ACTEAZ News  President’s Letter

President’s Letter – May 2019
Submitted by Curt Bertelsen

Dear ACTEAZ Members,

Another school year is coming to an end – and teachers everywhere are already planning for next school year. It is exciting to work in field where each year provides the opportunity to start fresh. New classroom management ideas. New instructional ideas. Redesign the lab. Find strategies to increase retention. And the list goes on.

In Career and Technical Education many teachers have the same sense of independence and passion that an entrepreneur experiences with their small business. We take it very personally. We strive to make our programs the very best and provide premier services to our customers – you know, those awesome young people that enter our room each day. We have a growth mindset, believing that with new ideas, hard work, and perseverance we can tackle any challenge that comes our way. We find solutions that will benefit of our students and provide them wonderful opportunities.

This summer we anticipate nearly 1200 teachers, counselors, administrators and guest will join together in Tucson (aka “God’s Country”) to share, learn, collaborate, innovate, and grow. The sessions cover a wide variety of topics and address teachers at all stages of their growth – from newbies to veteran. The speakers will challenge us to think differently, motivate us to stay the course, and make us laugh. The facilities are beautiful and the food is excellent. But the very best moments from the conference often happen in the hallway between sessions or over a drink as educators share their experiences, resources, connections, tricks of the trade and leave us encouraged and built up.

I am especially excited about this year’s theme – “CTE: The Power of Infinite Possibilities”. The future is really exciting with changes that have the potential to impact how long we live, our health, our happiness, our jobs, the environment, the economy. The changes are coming at an accelerating rate. It’s not unlike a roller coaster ride at a theme park. You start off slow and climb steadily upward at the same rate of speed for a long time – then you reach the top and start the descent. The speed accelerates rapidly. Soon you’re going REALLY fast. We have spent decades steadily climbing upward with the development of technologies. Those technologies are now converging (the roller coaster has arrived at the top) with the promise of an acceleration in the amazing breakthroughs that will radically change our lives, our work, our health, our economy and our environment.

This summer’s conference will kick-start our conversation on the future of work and how exponential technologies will impact our students, their careers and the workforce. Ten years ago no had heard of an App Developer and now there are over 400,000 in the US and it expected to be the fastest growing field for the next ten years. Millions of jobs will be lost to automation while millions more will be created that require the knowledge, intuition, creativity, skills and adaptability that only a human can offer. One thing is for sure. The Professional Skills we teach our students will be in high demand and should always be the most important skills we pass on to our students.

I look forward to seeing you in July! Until then, God bless you as you continue to change lives and provide young people with a pathway to a meaningful future.

Curt Bertelsen, President