Alex Weeks graduated from New Tech High, Napa in 2015 and is currently a Plumber's Apprentice.
I was a student at New Tech for all four of my high school years, and truly I couldn’t imagine having gone to school anywhere else. New Tech was unique in its ability to prepare you for working with others. From what I have heard and seen of other people my age who graduated from more conventional schooling New Tech was one of a kind. It took me out of my comfort zone and taught me valuable skills that have applied to close to everything that goes into adulthood.
The most valuable skill I gained from New Tech was the ability to work with others. It is impossible to know everyone in every new situation, or in every new job you may apply to, but the core skills of how to work around others is something that is universally applicable. I have worked a total of four jobs since my time at New Tech and all of them required me to know how to get along with the people around me. On top of that they required me to rely on other people, instead of just myself. Whether you’re working on a school project, or a construction site the most important thing everyone has to learn is that you aren’t one person anymore. For however long your shift is, or for however long the project was you are a cog in a machine and you have a job just like everyone around you.
Communication is everything in the professional world and it goes hand in hand with learning how to work with others. One of the hardest things I had to learn in my time at New Tech was how to communicate with those around me even when I had a polar opposite opinion. Learning how to respectfully tell someone you do not agree with them is not an easy thing to accomplish and while I am still working on it every day. What’s even harder for me than just being respectful and communicating my difference of opinion is trying to find a compromise. Or in certain situations even stepping down from my own opinion and recognizing where I may be wrong. I am constantly learning and improving on this everyday, but New Tech planted the seeds.
New Tech really did pull me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to be successful when working with others. The responsibility, accountability and critical thinking I learned from New Tech also play a part in my everyday life. But to me, knowing how to work with, or around others, and even just knowing how to ask for help when I need it is the most valuable to me. I use the interpersonal and professional communication skills New Tech taught me every single day. I’m so grateful to have learned such valuable lessons so early on in life. I truly feel set up for wherever my career takes me, and for any new situations life may throw my way.
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!