Students aren’t physically attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the learning continues online for students at the Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus (A-Tech). Before Governor Mike DeWine ordered the closure of schools on March 17th, students in Tiffanee Warner's 12th grade English class were preparing to read their final novel of the 2019-2020 school year, "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates" by Wes Moore.
Part of preparing included discussing short and long-term goals by creating Vision Boards. Warner collaborated with her student-teacher, Carrie Douglas and A-Tech Career Education Coordinator Denise Miller.
Miller explained, "If you don't have a vision, you're going to get stuck in what you know; and what you know is what you see." The seniors were receptive to the concept and shared their current limited experiences and their expansive future plans.
"It really makes me think about my future, it gives me something to look forward to, to strive for," said Early Childhood Education student Hailey Yeater. "Besides that, we get to show our creativity, as well."
In addition to preparing for the autobiography through the discussions, the students got to enhance and show off their creative touches. The vision boards were created with a variety of scrapbooking materials, inspirational messages, magazine clippings, personal photos and washi tape - a decorative tape - which many of the students had never used.
"My seniors are all about using the classroom to enhance their preparation for their next step(s) whether it’s college, a trade school, the workforce or the military," said Warner.
Throughout the discussions, students shared commentary about how they envisioned themselves in the next 3, 5, 10, 20 years. Miller and Douglas encouraged the students to depict those ideas on their vision boards.
Douglas, a 2012 A-Tech Healthcare Academy graduate told the seniors that she set goals for herself in her senior year: travel overseas, earn a degree, and secure a teaching job. At this point, she has traveled overseas as a teacher of English in Germany, earned her bachelor’s degree and now is working on her Master of Education degree.
Douglas will be teaching the Wes Moore novel under the direction of Mrs. Warner. "After watching a TedTalk by Wes Moore during a Veterans' Day assignment, Automotive Collision student Jeremy Champlin asked Mrs. Warner if she had read Moore's book. Jeremy talked about how relevant it is to life choices and he suggested that the English 12 class read it."
Warner and Douglas are adapting the lesson to be delivered in an online environment.
"That is really one of the best things about English class, you can take relevant and real world topics and find a piece of Literature to support it," Champlin said. "Warner and Douglas work hard to make sure the skills we learn are applicable in the real world."