Life Skills

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Team Project

By on May 18th, 2018

My daughter is in high school, and every time her class has a group project, I am sure to hear about it. Why? Because sometimes her archrival happens to be in her group, and other times her best friend is (happy days ahead). No matter what, I’ll hear about the group slacker, and definitely about that controlling person ordering everyone around.

Do these roles sound familiar to you? Many of us can relate, which is unfortunate because teamwork is such an essential soft skill. Some jobs require more teamwork than others, but there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself as part of a team at some point during your life. Continue reading


Cultivating Critical Thinkers

By on January 23rd, 2018

French philosopher Descartes may have been on to something when he said, “I think therefore I am.”

At FLVS, we want students to not only think, but think critically. Critical thinkers have the ability to improve their thinking through systematic self-assessment and reflection. Continue reading


Practical Problem Solving

By on December 15th, 2017

It’s happened to the best of us: you push the power button on the remote and nothing happens. What’s the problem? Does it need new batteries? Is the TV unplugged? Is the power out? To figure it out, you need some problem-solving skills.

Problem-solving skills are important in our everyday lives, our careers, and in learning. Problems may be frustrating, but they can also be opportunities. By helping our students develop strong problem-solving skills, we can help them look at problems differently, do things in a different way, and think critically. Continue reading


Coming Together with CTE

By on December 7th, 2017

It is hard to imagine anything good coming from the devastating winds and rain of Hurricane Irma or similar storms that ravaged homes and communities this past hurricane season. If you look hard enough, though, you can find unexpected positives even in the worst experiences.

As a member of the Florida Army National Guard, I was activated during Hurricane Irma, and there I had the fortunate, first-hand experience of seeing people come together to help others. Most of these people were actively using skills found in CTE (Career and Technical Education) courses: both soft and hard skills. Continue reading


Bringing Learning to Life with Practical Experience

By on December 4th, 2017

We know students learn best through experience, but how can they get hands-on in a virtual learning environment?

Say hello to Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). These professional student organizations are integrated into the FLVS Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum. Why? Because they give students tons of personal growth swag. Continue reading


Five FLVS Electives That Teach Life Skills

By on September 5th, 2017

This article was originally written and published in the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click

Despite money management being a highly important life skill, a survey conducted in 2016 states that only 17 states in the US require a personal finance class to graduate high school. This has remained unchanged since 2014. Luckily, FLVS offers a “Personal and Family Finance” class to help prepare students for graduation. This is only one of many important electives that FLVS offers! Continue reading


To Program or Not to Program?

By on August 31st, 2017

To program, or not to program? That is the question. If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t learned to program yet – but if you’re like most people, you probably should.

Many people don’t learn about programming because they think it doesn’t relate to their personal or career interests. After all, not everyone wants to be a professional programmer, right? However, should a person take a finance class only if he/she is going to be an accountant? Continue reading


Military Crossroads with Career and Technical Education (CTE)

By on May 26th, 2017

Michael Francis

Michael Francis, U.S. Army Sergeant

From 2000 to 2004, I was an active duty Soldier in the United States Army and have been in the Florida Army National Guard since 2005.

There are many parts of my military career that stand out in my memory. Basic training, my drill sergeant during the hot summer at Fort Jackson, being in my promotion board during the September 11 attacks, being deployed during multiple state emergencies, and so much more. Most recently, and regardless of political platform, I was honored to play a role in our democracy by providing security support for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration in D.C.

However, these memories and events are not what changed me the most.

Instead, it is the military’s connection with CTE that has been the most valuable. That connection positively affected my personal life, my educational pursuits, and my civilian career.

Although military life is not for everyone, the skills and knowledge that are integrated within CTE are for everyone, whether an Army future is in the cards or not.

Continue reading


Would You Rather…the Dentist or a DBA?

By on March 24th, 2017

Blog_Public_SpeakingChances are that if you ask someone if they’d rather have dental work done or speak in front of an audience, that person will probably have to take a moment to think about it.

According to many studies, the idea of speaking in public or making a presentation ranks extremely high on the anxiety scale.

Along those lines, we’ve heard from many of our students that they are apprehensive when it comes to their discussion-based assessment, commonly known as a DBA. For those not familiar with the DBA, it is a verbal conversation between a student and teacher to discuss what he/she has learned in the modules.

If this is you, you can take some comfort in the simple fact you are not alone.

Have you ever watched someone talk in public and think, “Man, they are great—so relaxed and natural. I wish I could speak like that.” While it’s true that some have a natural gift for gab and their conversations seem effortless, it is quite possible that they had to learn to overcome their nervousness. Speaking professionally in a public setting, is a skill that must be developed and fine-tuned. And this takes time.

Here’s a secret… Continue reading


How Career & Technical Education Changed My Life

By on February 21st, 2017

CTE_Blog_CoverIn honor of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, I would like to reflect on the influence CTE has had on my life – even though I didn’t realize it until a decade later.

As a teenager, I wasn’t a big fan of school. Classes, homework, and way too much science! I couldn’t stand it.

However, every time I left my rural campus to assist nurses at the local hospital, I felt the thrill of escape and the fun of doing something new. So, for all the wrong reasons, I enrolled in my high school’s nursing program and was quickly on my way to plenty of time not in school. The perfect plan!

It didn’t take long for me to learn my first CTE lesson: there is much more to a nursing program than wearing scrubs and getting out of class. I’d signed up for a daily, three-hour block of anatomy and physiology, as well as an introduction to nursing skills. Yep, my brilliant plan to escape school somehow locked me into three hours of science a day. Continue reading