I teach Diesel Technology at the Lapeer County Education and Technology Center in Attica Michigan. The curriculum I teach is based on the segments of Medium/Heavy-Duty Truck. You can check out the video of my program.

The Formative Years

I grew up on a small farm in Battle Creek, Mi. I grew to love the outdoors, farming and working with machinery. I attended Springfield High School (now the Battle Creek Math and Science Center) and Calhoun Area Vocational Center in Agricultural Mechanics. After graduation , I enrolled in Automotive Technology at Kellogg Community College and completed the certificate program. Over the years, I worked at a Firestone Auto Service Center, full service gas stations, auto repair facilities and ran my own business as Bammer's Auto Diagnostics. I found myself discussing vehicle problems, diagnostics and repairs to my customers. I also felt an explanation came with the bill and I had to explain to the customer theory and reasoning in a form they would understand. I never had a thought about teaching, but with a growing family, I knew I had to have health insurance.

The Road to a Teaching Degree

My first classroom experience was at Lake Orion High Scool as a paraprofessional in Automotive Technology, not because I wanted to teach, but they had great benefits. I soon found that I had a passion for teaching. My years of explaining things to customers left me well prepared to explain things to students. The 1986-87 school year found me with a new job as a paraprofessional in Agricultural Mechanics at Lapeer County Vocational and Technical Center in Attica, Mi. for the simple reason it was an hour closer, only 15 minutes from home. I decided to go back to school for a teaching certificate but first I had to finish my associate degree. I took classes at St. Clair County Community College and Mott Community College, transferring them to Kellogg Community College to receive my Associate Degree in 1990. The next 8 years were hectic. I was a parapro until 1992 when my wife went back to work and I became a stay at home dad while teaching adult education classes in Automotive Technology, maintaining the business for a few loyal customers and taking education classes through Ferris State University. I completed my student teaching back at Lake Orion High School and was offered a teaching position there, but I turned it down for a teaching position in Agricultural Mechanics at Lapeer County Vocational and Technical Center. I recieved my Bachelor's Degree in Vocational Education as well as my Temporary Vocational Authorization in 1998.

Teaching the Past 12 Years

Lapeer County has strong agricultural roots. Most students enrolled in Agricultural Mechanics because they grew up on a farm and planned to return to the farm after graduation just as their parent and grandparents had done before them. This was my roots as well and I enjoyed it. Times changed as more farmland was sold to developers and John Deeres went from green farm tractors to yellow construction equipment. My program focus changed with the times with emphasis moving to the construction industry as my student's backgrounds moved away from agriculture.

3 years ago, the Michigan Department of Education dropped the Agricultural Mechanics CIP code and the program switched to Medium/Heavy-Duty Truck. It moved from the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource career cluster to the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics career cluster. The standards changed and the technology of the career field has changed dramatically as well. Today's technicians have to keep up with the high tech changes and as the instructor I have to keep up as well. I am constantly updating my skills and knowledge in the content area, increasingly through online training. I enrolled in the Masters of Arts in Educational Technology at Michigan State University develop my technology skills needed in the further changes in my method of delivery, classroom management and the entire education system.