By Jacelyn Nesmith | Content Development Specialist on September 24, 2020 at 8:51 AM
Each month, we spotlight a teacher helping students be successful by using innovative and outstanding teaching methods. We are excited to recognize Melissa Tice as the September iCEV Teacher of the Month.
Tice brings years of industry knowledge and experience into her classroom. Before becoming a teacher, Tice was a bedside nurse, specializing in labor and delivery. Her passion for teaching others derived in the hospital where she would take students under her wing and show them the ropes of being a nurse. While finishing her master's degree, Tice began serving as a substitute teacher at a local high school. Shortly after, a Health Science Teacher position opened, and Tice chased her long-term dream of becoming an educator. Tice currently teaches at Dorchester County Career and Technology Center (DCCTC) in South Carolina.
Students select one of 17 offered career paths at DCCTC and pursue classes within their chosen field for the duration of their high school careers. Each course offers an industry certification. While students are not required to earn an industry certification for graduation, they are highly encouraged to earn one to jumpstart their careers.
"Looking back, I wish someone would have prepared me to find a job," said Tice. "I wish I could have earned an industry certification, learned how to communicate, interview for a job and how to be a noteworthy employee."
In Tice's position at Dorchester, she teaches several classes and facilitates multiple community partnerships. Tice oversees the veterinary science program, where she has implemented iCEV materials for the past four years. The veterinary program is split into two portions. Students first complete the iCEV veterinary science courses. Upon completing the online course, students shadow a local veterinarian for 40 hours. At the veterinarian's office, students learn the hands-on aspects of being a veterinarian. Once a student completes both portions of the course, they take the Elanco Veterinary Medical Applications Certification hosted on iCEV's testing platform.
The veterinarian course entices students to join Dorchester's CTE program. According to Tice, this program is extremely successful, "One of my students even landed a job at the veterinarian office," said Tice. "Many students have attended veterinarian schools after completing this program." Tice notes iCEV provides structure for this program, and students are enjoying the hands-on aspect of the course. Of the students who have taken the industry certification exam, Tice has had an 89 percent passing rate on the exam.
Since implementing iCEV's curriculum, Tice has found she has more time to work with students one-on-one and focus on bringing hands-on experiences into the classroom. Her students see her as a resource and as someone to guide their learning experience. Using iCEV, Tice's students can work at their own pace and review materials as needed.
"My students enjoy iCEV and its user friendly," said Tice. "We have a high success rate with iCEV. I believe iCEV helps grow a program and attracts students to courses. At least the curriculum attracted students to our program."
In addition to the veterinary science course, Tice teaches an EMS patient care course at Dorchester. In this course, Tice teaches the practical skills students need to pursue a career in health care, regardless if they want to be a nurse's assistant, nurse or doctor. She says one of the most rewarding parts of her career is watching her students help a patient for the first time.
To stay up to date with her skills and the industries practices, Tice continues to pick up shifts as an "as needed" nurse. "I feel like I must stay current in my skills and knowledge of the industry," said Tice. "My students' futures depend on it."
Transitioning from industry to the field of education is not an easy task for anyone. For those pursuing a career shift, Tice's advice is to rely on the information you have known forever. "Your prior knowledge is all you need," said Tice. The educational piece, such as lesson plans and assessments, will come later.
"Why not share what we know? Don't overthink the educational practices," said Tice. "Taking the knowledge I have used in the industry forever and sharing it with the future workforce is the most rewarding feeling."
Tice was one of the presenters at iCEV's virtual conference, CTE Inspired. In her sessions, Tice dives deeper into her program and the lessons she incorporates.
At iCEV, we want to recognize teachers like Melissa Tice, who work tirelessly to set their students up for educational and career success. If you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized, nominate them for iCEV Teacher of the Month by contacting Jacelyn Nesmith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (806) 748-8747.