Step 2. Conduct exploratory conversations
The champion will want to initiate exploratory conversations to gauge the level of support for moving forward and lay the ground-work for overcoming obstacles in the future. Depending on the circumstances, this can be inside or outside of the CTC. The goal is to identify who would understand the value of the program or benefit the most from its implementation.
Step 3. Present the idea to career counselors
In a CTC, the teachers may see the preservation trades curriculum as an added burden to their already full workload. High school career counselors may be a good first approach, since it is in their best interest to create opportunities for students to be more employable. Exposure to preservation trades means students could be hired into both new and preservation construction fields. Whether the first conversation is with guidance counselors, teachers or administrators, care must be taken to present the preservation trades curriculum as an adjunct to the existing curriculum, without an inordinate amount of extra work.
Step 4. Present the idea to other teachers
Once the career counselors are on board, the champion can take the idea to teachers who might get excited about the program and be willing to undertake any extra work
the program would entail. These conversations can help to outline the pros and cons of moving forward so that the champion can have a well thought-out plan when
he or she has that first conversation with someone in the administration who may say “no.”
Step 5. Broach the subject with the principal
With the major points fleshed out and with allies, the champion can then broach the subject with the school principal. If the principal can be convinced, at a minimum, that the idea merits further exploration, then the champion can reach out beyond the school walls.
Step 6. Make contact with core partners who can bring resources
Once initial exploratory conversations have occurred and the champion decides to move forward with a preservation trades curriculum overlay, he or she must begin to gather the necessary resources. The most effective way is to create partnerships with individuals and organizations with similar goals, and who would benefit from the creation of a preservation trades curriculum. A local or statewide preservation organization, a historic district advisory board, or a local historical society are all examples of potential partners.
I was looking for help and I called the City and they gave me the Historic District Advisory Board (HDAB). I talked with them and they gave me the number for the statewide preservation nonprofit, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. Getting preservation trades training taught at the high school level had long been a goal of several board members serving on MHPN’s Education Committee
so a partnership was formed.
Roddy Rivers, Instructor, Randolph Career and Technical Center