Letter to Editor: An Open Letter to all School Superintendents
By JAMES HANKINS
Zoom may be great for academic students, but it is of little or no help to hands-on vocational students pursuing a high paying trade. An altruistic community leader who volunteers his time working with young people asked me, a retired vocational teacher, how can the school system make up what the vocational students missed during coronavirus closings?
The laptop computers, with help from parents, are a great tool to keep the teachers teaching and the students learning. Vocational education courses (we used to call “shop”) like carpentry, auto mechanics, bricklaying, computer repair, electrical wiring, plumbing, landscaping, and cooking require hands-on. The culinary arts teacher can guide the student through cooking a pineapple upside-down cake on Zoom, but the teacher will never be able to grade the cake using the taste test which is the most important in food prep (smile).
The local school superintendents need to plan for when students return to school. Have the vocational director pull their teachers together for brainstorming sessions. After they put together a workable plan, bring in contractors, entrepreneurs, business owners and elected officials to help provide this essential education to our students.
The phrase, Arthur Fletcher, coined years ago is still relevant today “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
James J. Hankins—Wilmington, NC— 910-233-1968