Many people bemoan the fact that their primary education didn’t prepare them for the “real world” in the way they’d hoped it would. Susan Scales is the educator who took that feedback, and then took action.
As a business education teacher, Susan understands that it is her responsibility to prepare her students for the real world. In this case, it’s a world that is increasingly more saturated in technology by the day. She realized that students needed to be learning essential computer skills from a young age to compete with the current market, and from there, saw an opportunity to innovate the way students learn within her own district. She developed a curriculum that would teach students how to fix old computers, and reached out to the local community to see if anyone had broken electronics they could work with.
Since then, Susan has also provided a platform for students to actually become certified in computer repair for Dell. Thanks to the Conestoga Valley Education Foundation,they received grants to purchase drones and the parts to use for repair as well. On top of that, the funding allowed them to develop a program in which they reach out to district retirees to offer free technology education and training. Always focused on how to make learning a holistic and integrative experience, Susan organized a trip to the Whitaker Center for students interested in medical careers to watch a live surgery.
“It is important to me to provide hands-on opportunities so students can complete globally,” Susan said. “Much of my work involves incorporating educational technology to ensure students have exposure to the tools needed in today’s society.”
Susan says that generally speaking, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about teachers, and the field of education in general. “We wear so many hats every day all in effort to provide the best possible education. We work every day, including weekends, to keep up with planning and providing opportunities for student growth,” she said. “Teachers need to be lifelong learners so that we can facilitate optimal success for our students.”
Susan says that her long-term vision is to continue staying up-to-date on her student’s needs, and trying to find ways to provide “authentic opportunities” for them to showcase their talents. Personally, she is also working on her doctoral studies in Educational Technology at Wilkes University.
By: Brianna Wiest