LCTE participants see growth in confidence and skills

Our program for Leadership in Career & Technical Education (LCTE) wound up the school year with students discussing and practicing the soft skills needed in any workplace and learning a few of the basics of personal finance.

A.W. Beattie students hosted a tour of their school

Held at A.W. Beattie Career Center, the final session drew participants from three career and technical centers (CTCs) in addition to Beattie, including Forbes Road, Parkway West and Steel Center.

As an exercise to see how different temperaments affect group performance, students adopted assigned personas—ranging from perfectionist to shy, know-it-all, natural leader and yes-man, among others—and competed in teams to build the highest house of cards. Some students said their assigned roles matched their personalities, while others needed to act parts far from who they really are.

Discussion afterward suggested that the two teams with the tallest structures had thought outside the box more than those whose couldn’t get theirs as high. Among other things, they’d thought to fold cards in half to make them sturdier.

In addition, student role played various common workplace scenarios, demonstrating how they’d resolve different kinds of tensions, like confronting a colleague whose conduct would result in dismissal.

Students said they’d grown through the program in numerous ways.

“I never talked in class before,” said Sarah, a senior at Steel Center. “But I do now.” She said she’d even built the confidence to participate in learning sessions her school gives to eighth-graders who might want to consider taking classes at the CTC.

Another participant said the program had expanded her understanding of personal finance. “Nobody else teaches you any of this, like about credit or getting a mortgage.”

Alex, a senior at Forbes Road said she’s found the leadership training has helped her contribute more in the part-time job she’s doing with a landscaper.

“It’s really helped me with communication,” she said “I’ve been able to speak up and offer ideas. They’ve even used some of them.

“I wish more kids could come to this,” Alex added. “It’s really been good for building skills.”