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Crafting Lessons That Change Lives: Meet Whitney Fowler

 

As a former transition teacher, Whitney Fowler is a wonderful asset to the Attainment team. Currently, she is working on our new Pre-Employment Transition Solution, which provides resources for the five WIOA required activities. Each of her lessons and classroom activities support students' development of vocational and life skills!

 

What encouraged you to move from classroom teaching to Attainment Company?

Although I loved being in the classroom full-time, I would spend more hours outside the classroom preparing the “perfect" lesson. When lessons worked out just how I envisioned them, I would pass them onto other teachers, and then volunteer to teach a new class, just for the fun of developing new lessons.

That experience helps me to think of the application of the curriculum I’m writing, and helps me to understand what challenges students are facing today, with reading, writing, vocational education, etc.

 

Would you share a little bit about your experience working in the classroom?

The students I worked with for the last 5 years in Verona were an amazing group of individuals. Their educational abilities ranged greatly, but their life skills were often better than their typical peers! I truly enjoyed finding the skills that made each student shine. The best part of getting new students was getting to know them, understanding their strengths, and showing them; “Hey, this is all you, you did this!” When I would develop school-based jobs, I would think, “Oh this will be perfect, because this student loves to put things in precise order, and that’s exactly what this job needs!”

Working with high school students is a lot of fun, but over the years I have worked with all age groups from preschool to adult. Teaching high school was definitely my favorite. In high school, you get to see young, immature, and goofy freshmen develop into amazing, young adults you just know are going to be huge successes.

 

What challenges did you face as an educator?

My biggest challenge was probably measuring the success of my students to today's educational standards. I watched many students with significant behavioral challenges develop into amazing young adults; but their achievements may have been overlooked because they did not make a year's growth in reading or something like that. I would think, “Are you kidding me?  Somebody send this guy an award for making it through the school day, participating, and finding what makes him happy!”

 

What inspires you while creating new lessons?

While creating new lessons, I think of how students would react to them, how teachers would present them, and what it would be like if I were presenting in the classroom. Sometimes I test it out with my own kids and use their feedback to make changes. They can be a very honest audience!

 

What is your current focus?

I am currently working on developing a curriculum solution that meets all WIOA requirements with Transition Expert, Janet Estervig.  Right now, we are working on the Job and Career Exploration piece of the curriculum.

 

How will the new Pre-ETS package impact educators and students?

I believe that Pre-ETS will give educators a tool to begin developing vocational and life skills early, and give students the opportunity to develop and practice these skills throughout high school. The longer students practice vocational and life skills, the greater chance they have of finding and keeping meaningful employment into adulthood, and leading more fulfilling lives.

 

Thank you, Whitney!

 

Please let us know if you have any questions about Pre-ETS! It will be available soon! 

 

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