You're A Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher??
Hi, I'm Ms Bolier and I'm a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher.
Normally the reaction I get when I tell people that is
"You're a what?"
"Soooo what do you teach?"
"Is that like Home Ec?"
or simply "That's cool!" Even though I can tell they have no idea what I just said.
In fact most the time I am only partially through saying "Family and Cons--" when they are already nodding their head and saying "Awesome!" with a confused look in their eyes.
It's National FCS Educator Day this week so I thought why not take some time to write a post all about what Family and Consumer Sciences is and how I became a FCS teacher.
What is Family and Consumer Sciences?
The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) defines Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) as the "field of study focused on the science and the art of living and working well in our complex world". Basically it's the classes that teach you about adulting and skills you use in your daily life now and in the future!!
The content areas for Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) are:
Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism
Education and Training
Food Science and Nutrition
Health Management and Wellness
Housing and Interior Design
Human/Child Development and Family Relations
Personal and Family Finance
Textiles, Apparel, and Retailing
"FCS studies the relationship between individuals, families, and communities and the environment in which they live. FCS educators address many topics, including human development, personal and family finance, housing and interior design, food science, nutrition and wellness, textiles and apparel, and consumer issues. They apply math, science, and communication skills to everyday living." (aafcs.org)
The goal of Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) is to help students develop the essential knowledge and skills to:
be work and career ready
build strong families
make meaningful contributions to our communities
lead better lives
The name "Family and Consumer Sciences" or the acronym "FCS" may be not what you know this field as because it has gone through some name and acronym changes! Outside of the United States it is still know as Home Economics which is what it originally was called everywhere. In 1994 the American Association decided to change the name of the field to Family and Consumer Sciences from Home Economics to more accurately reflect the complexity of the profession. When they changed the name to Family and Consumer Sciences they first made the acronym FACS but just a few years ago they changed it to FCS because when people say "FACS" it sounds like they're saying "facts" or "fax" and it got confusing!
Growing up I was lucky to have Family Consumer Sciences classes at my jr high and high school. I enjoyed taking sewing, food & nutrition, and teen living-- which taught all about relationships and personal development. I remember looking forward to these classes.
HOW did I become an FCS teacher?
I personally attended a university in Utah that offers a Family and Consumer Sciences Education Bachelors program. This isn't offered at every College or University so depending on where you live, there may or may not be one that offers it nearby. The good news is that even if you already have your Bachelors already, or if there's not a program where you are attending, you can usually obtain licensure through an alternate route program. This looks a little different by state, so again, it will depend on where you live. There are lots of secondary schools that have FCS programs but some don't--especially since there is a shortage of FCS teachers.
When I first went to college, I knew I wanted to be a teacher but I wasn't quite sure what kind of a teacher yet. I took a human development class my first semester and loved it. I remember thinking I want to take more classes like this. How can I take more classes like this? Then I remembered Family Consumer Sciences and how much I loved those classes growing up. I knew I wanted to be an FCS teacher. And after changing my major to FCS Ed I never looked back!
What do I specifically teach now?
I currently teach 9th grade Child Development, 8th grade FCS Exploration, and 7th grade Career Exploration class. FCS Exploration is kind of like an introduction to areas in FCS. Where I teach we split them into 2 models and I teach both. Model A includes sewing, interior design, and fashion design. Model B includes personal development, child development, and food & nutrition. Both also includes a little bit of Business & Entrepreneurship.
I get to teach students not only how to cook and sew... but also I get to teach them
about why children behave the way they do and positive strategies to use with them.
I get to teach students how to create a resume and how to interview etiquette.
I get to teach students how to communicate effectively and in different settings.
I get to teach students how to build positive self concept,
about the importance of good friendships, identify and live by their values,
and how to resist negative peer pressure.
I get to teach students how to manage their stress & process their emotions in healthy ways.
I get to teach students about pregnancy and the development of a fetus.
I get to teach students about parenting styles & help them better understand their parents.
I get to teach students about how to design an interior space to feel the way they want it to.
I get to teach students about nutrition and how what they put in their body impacts them
not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
I LOVE teaching things that apply to my students right NOW and in their future.
I LOVE that my classes are naturally hands on, engaging, and include important discussions.
I LOVE being able to see students remember how FUN and interesting learning can be.
Family and Consumer Sciences is so important and I wish every school in America could offer these classes. If teaching Family Consumer Sciences sounds like it would be a good fit for you, look into it in your state!
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