Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 National Cluster Meeting in Review

FCCLA thanks the advisers who joined us in Albuquerque, St. Louis, and Charlotte for National Cluster Meetings (NCM) this month. We know that there is a lot of work that goes into planning and preparing to take students to these conferences and appreciate your effort. We also recognize that while many advisers benefited from the adviser professional development sessions at NCM, others were unable to attend. While it isn't the same as an in person session, we have posted the materials from our adviser professional development sessions on the FCCLA website for your convenience.

The sessions listed below were developed and written by the National Consultant Team and presented by advisers from across the country. Please contact Amy Doane at, to indicate an interest in presenting or to recommend a topic you think advisers would find helpful.

Leadership is everyone’s business. Learn how FCCLA’s national program Dynamic Leadership and The Student Leadership Challenge can help build effective leaders in the classroom and out. Engage leaders through these programs and the tools they offer to integrate leadership into any classroom.

FCCLA is the only CTSO with family as its central focus. The national program Families First can help engage and reconnect with families in the community. Learn how to involve parents, grandparents, siblings, and others as FCCLA works to build strong, healthy families.

Whether it’s a field trip across town or a plane trip to another country, teachers put a lot of work into preparing effective travel opportunities for students. Find out what others do to make the most of travel opportunities that provide students with amazing, life-changing experiences.

Effective public relations can be as simple as sharing your story. But what story should you tell and who is the audience? This interactive session will guide attendees as they develop a chapter story and discover public relations basics.

In addition to the professional development sessions listed above, FCCLA also offers Adviser Networking (formerly Adviser Roundtables) to foster that collaborative, cooperative involvement FACS teachers are known for. Each networking session features guided discussion and opportunities to share and glean ideas from fellow advisers. Look for these sessions at every national conference.

On a final note, this has been a busy semester and FCCLA encourages all advisers to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. You have worked hard the past few months and your contributions to FCCLA and your classroom have not gone unnoticed. Enjoy a relaxing, fun, and possibly food-filled time with friends and family this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teaching with Teen Times

Teen Times can be a great resource for your classroom. FCCLA provides Teaching with Teen Times as an adviser resource to support classroom integration. Not only do FCCLA members benefit but the resource can be used to recruit new members and energize inactive members. Try out some of the below methods for Teaching with Teen Times:

  • Let FCCLA officers use Teaching with Teen Times to energize your classroom.
  • Activities can be used to connect your chapter to the FACS classroom.
  • Leave the Teaching with Teen Times for a substitute when you're away from school.

The November/December edition of Teaching with Teen Times is online now. The issue focuses on leadership. We encourage you to help your students develop their leadership skills with Teen Times activities. Look for the January/February issue of Teen Times which is built for student input and interaction on environmental concerns.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Planning Successful Chapter Activities

This week's blog contribution has come from Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team member from Montana.

Activity planning is an important part of any FCCLA chapter.  Activities promote teamwork and provide opportunities for chapter members to learn about each other, spend time together, and enjoy themselves while developing a sense of belonging. FCCLA members have the opportunity to learn leadership, teamwork, and communication skills through participation in and planning of chapter activities. Chapter activities also provide opportunities for young people to learn responsibility and provide meaningful service to their schools and communities. Sometimes, all the adviser needs to do is encourage students to plan and organize an event. Other times the adviser’s role is to initiate the activity and even convince chapter members that the activity will be a positive experience.

Use the KISS method when planning events.  “Keep It Simple Silly!”  Stop, look, and listen to chapter members, you will become aware of programming opportunities.  Learn to take advantage of situations in your community, current events, television programs, informal discussions, and other events that facilitate activities and programs.  Keep programming in mind at all times, network with other advisers, attend youth sessions, have a conversation with FACS classes about current issues, and encourage your officers to think outside the box.

First and foremost, an effective activity must be appropriate to the needs of the students.  If chapter officers are involved with their chapter members, activity ideas will create themselves. All that is required from this point is planning the event and acquiring the necessary resources. Use the FCCLA planning process to coordinate the activity, resources, scheduling, checking for conflicts on the school calendar, and publicity, and shopping for supplies. If chapter officers are able to coordinate these things successfully, a program has a good chance of being effective.

Set goals for each month or semester, involve as many members and non-members as possible. Develop a chapter program of work that includes fun activities in addition to chapter projects and fundraising events. Invite students from the general school population to become involved with activities. This may help promote member participation as well as opportunities to recruit new members.

By using both formal and informal assessment, activity planning can better meet the needs and stimulate the interests of students.  If a chapter builds community through activities and other techniques, chances are membership will increase and students will view FCCLA as a positive, students focused organization.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Take Time for You!

This week's post is contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia.

The school year is off to a great start, most of us are into our second quarter. If your time is like mine it is filled with FCCLA activities, sporting events, lesson plans, papers and projects to grade and spending time with my family. The frustration often sets in as to how we are to balance everything.

I often forget to take time out of each day for myself, how about you? We need to take time for ourselves even if it is just 2 minutes. Below you will find a few ideas on how to spend your time if you have 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour.

If you have 2 minutes:

  • Take deep breaths and think peaceful thoughts
  • Play or cuddle with your pet. They will love this time and it will let you forget about everything for a bit. 
  • Remember the last time you had a good laugh and it will bring a smile to your face. 

If you have 5 minutes:

  • Reflect on all the things for which you are grateful.
  • Express your thoughts or feeling in a journal. 
  • Go for a short walk around the building.

If you have 15 minutes:

  • Go for a walk in the park, by the lake or by the ocean. 
  • Take a nap. 
  • Drive or walk out of your way to find something beautiful in your everyday routine. 

If you have an hour:

  • Volunteer at your favorite charity.
  • Go to a bookstore by yourself so that you can browse to your heart’s content and maybe have a cup of coffee. 
  • Go to bed an hour early: put on your favorite pajamas, make some hot tea and crawl into bed. 

We will all be more focused and driven  in our families and careers if we remember to recharge our batteries. The only way we can do this is to take time out focus on ourselves.