Health science high school teachers often struggle their first year when they move from an industry career. We’ve heard from hundreds of instructors about how intimidating it can be to tackle lesson planning, classroom management, and meeting course standards.
Andy Garrett faced this not too long ago when he transitioned from being a firefighter to teaching health science classes at Thompson High School in Alabaster, AL. He shared with us that during his first year he was on sensory overload and very intimidated. However, once Andy started using HealthCenter21 in his classroom he quickly started getting past those hurdles.
Since incorporating HealthCenter21 in his classroom, Andy has had to worry less due to these benefits of using the eLearning curriculum:
- Saving time with grading and lesson planning
- More structure in the classroom
- Meeting standards is a breeze
Less Time Spent on Lesson Planning and Grading
For Andy, lesson planning and grading student work has always been a big challenge. Like most health science high school teachers, he spent ‘off hours’ prepping and grading. Once he began using the HealthCenter21 health science curriculum, he found he is saving literally hours of prep time:
“Without HealthCenter21, I would spend as many as 7-8 additional hours per week on preparing lessons.”
Another way HealthCenter21 has made an impact on Andy is the automatic grading done by the system. Because it is an eLearning curriculum, the quizzes, tests, and exams are automatically graded and saved to the teacher dashboard:
“HealthCenter21 keeps all of the grades for you. So as far as convenience and time saving, the grading system is pretty much already in place. Students do the work and HealthCenter21 grades it… it’s pretty easy.”
More Structure for Better Health Science Classroom Management
A big struggle for many first year CTE teachers is classroom management. You have a huge knowledge of the healthcare industry and teaching hands-on skills is what you love to do. But what you don’t love is finding ways to keep half of the class on task while working on skills with the other students. For Andy, HealthCenter21 has helped to alleviate that burden:
“One of the biggest things about HealthCenter21 is the availability it allows for a teacher, especially a first or second year teacher, to provide structured work with a good curriculum that will keep the students on the same pace and track that you already have them on while doing the skills portion.
A health science class is very skills-intensive… you have a lot of hands-on time you have to spend with students, and if they don't have anything structured to do in the meantime, it can get chaotic.”
Because students can work on the lessons in HealthCenter21 independently, Andy is confident in knowing he can have one group working on the computers while he does hands-on skills with other students. This is much easier than when he had to spend time creating worksheets and activities for students to complete:
“HealthCenter21 has made the classroom a lot less hectic and more conducive to learning… I’m able to keep a lid on things now. If I didn’t have HealthCenter21, I would have to spend time creating worksheets, making copies, things like that for students to work on while others did skills check-offs.”
Meeting Standards with Updated Health Science Curriculum
All teachers need to meet educational standards, but health science instructors also need to be wary of changes in the industry. When looking to meet their standards, many teachers have to use multiple health science textbooks which can be quite a strain on them, their students, and the school budget. For Andy, HealthCenter21 has been a lifesaver in meeting his standards:
“HealthCenter21 is right down the line with what the state curriculum is for Alabama. So the standard topics that I cover using HealthCenter21 are just as I would cover them out of various textbooks.”
An extra benefit he and his student receive compared to using traditional textbooks is that HealthCenter21 is updated as standards and the industry change. Because the curriculum is digital, updates are made and released to users without teachers having to worry about purchasing new material or doing the work themselves!
Do you struggle with some of the challenges Andy did during his first year of teaching?
Sign up for a trial of HealthCenter21 to see how it can help you!