Keeping computer skills up with changing technology is all part of the job.
Lori Decker has been a teacher at Indian Trails Middle School since it opened 19 years ago as a K-8 school. During that time, one thing has remained constant – the location of her classroom. Everything else, from computers to programs, continues to change.
When she was in high school, her favorite subjects were elective studies that involved business and typing. Now she shares that passion with her students.
Decker started her career in Flagler Schools in 1989 as a secretary in the Human Resources department.
“I went to school to be a court reporter,” she said. “I went back to get my teaching accreditation when they were getting ready to open Indian Trails.”
She recalled her first day, standing before her first class, and thinking “what did I do?”
Her question was answered as she got to know her students and watched them grow from immature seventh graders to eighth graders ready to move onto high school.
In 2014, Decker started an info-tech class, and the students began earning their Microsoft industry certification in Microsoft word, PowerPoint, and Excel. In the first year nearly all of the 107 students in her class received their industry certification.
“They are specialists when they pass one of the three, when they pass all three they receive industry certification which is recognized in the business world,” she said. “They also earn a high school credit.”
Decker continues to learn with her students.
“I usually go to in-service classes over the summer to keep abreast of changes,” she said. “We do training in a program called Geometrics, so the summer before I spent a lot of time doing Geometrics and learning what these kids needed to know.”
Decker also focuses on keyboarding skills, breaking their bad habits, and showing them keyboard techniques that will be more beneficial.
The students are also being prepared for the future, with classes on hard and soft skills required to succeed in the business world.
“We read an article about how the business world is grading our college students a “C” because of their working skills, their soft skills,” she said. “The working world wants people to be able to problem solve and work together.”