CTE classes are the way to go

February is CTE month around the nation and at Fuquay Varina High School. CTE stands for Career and Technical Education. These classes revolve around business and different career paths. They provide students with the necessary tools, knowledge, skills, and training to succeed in future careers.

Programs in Career and Technical Education give purpose to learning by emphasizing real-world skills and practical knowledge. Many students at Fuquay, including myself, have learned so much from CTE classes that will help in the future, or have prepared me for the real world. 

There is a multitude of different CTE classes that Fuquay offers. Some include business management, business essentials, marketing, and Adobe visual design. What makes these classes interesting is that you can get certified with them. However, certification isn’t mandatory. For example, if you take the Adobe class, failing the certification exam won’t make you fail the entire class. It won’t have any effect on your class grade. 

Another amazing thing about Career and Technical Education programs is that if you typically struggle with math classes, you’re able to take two CTE classes that add up to one math credit. Therefore, students may only have to take three years of math in high school instead of four. These classes are things like business essentials and Excel that add up to a math credit. 

James Harris is a CTE business teacher who prides himself in helping students as much as he possibly can. I’ve had him three times in the last two school years and taking his classes has helped me immensely. 

“I just had a strong desire to help the next generation. My intent was to help business students; however, I understand that as a teacher your role is much larger than the courses that you teach,” he said.

Nowadays more than ever, students are needing teachers who actually care about what they teach. Harris teaches business courses in a really great way. His classes teach you how to prepare for life in multiple aspects. He touches on group work, public speaking, and even business plans. 

“Most of the CTE courses don’t just offer you an A, B, C, D type answer. It’s a skill that you use to apply in life, whether it’s through Excel or if it’s business management. These courses teach life skills,” said Harris.

Harris admits that he got a lot of his influence as a teacher from being in the military. Not only does he speak very highly of this country and it’s military all the time, but he also lets it influence his teaching.

“In the military, you learn different styles of learning. You don’t take it so personally when you meet resistance, and you try to overcome it because that’s the military way,” said Harris.

Career and Technical Education programs can be extremely beneficial to students in high school. It’s so important to have teachers that actually believe in and care about what they’re teaching, and CTE classes should be more recognized.