OMG it's hard to believe that this February will be my 27th FFA week. There are so many good memories of laughter, food, and friends throughout those years, first as a student and then as a teacher. That week is a chance to celebrate and just have plain fun with FFA members. When I close my eyes I can see the shining faces and hear the laughter and I know you can too.
One of the best memories I have is handing out chapter degree pins. One year, there was a young man receiving his that told me this was the best thing he'd ever received. Really?! Better than birthday and Christmas presents? Better than dessert after supper?! Yes, really. He'd worked for that degree for 2 years and he was proud of his accomplishments.
But, as Paul Harvey says, here's the rest of the story.
That young man didn't have a very good home life and many times went without basic necessities (like many of your own students, I'm sure). He managed to pull himself to school each day despite the lack of any support, to do his homework despite a family cycle of high school dropouts, and to eventually graduate and attend a technical school despite the lack of monetary and emotional support most kids take for granted. It was the truth when he shared that receiving his chapter degree was the best thing he'd ever received.
I reflect on that moment often when I look at FFA members and recall that sometimes the mundane things we do are done with purpose. Something as simple as getting a silver emblem pin marks a milestone of student motivation and accomplishment. I smile to think about that young man graduating from college, getting married, getting his first real job, and starting a family. He had no idea that moment of receiving the chapter degree only marked the beginning of the best things he would ever receive.
Now you know my favorite FFA week moment, what's yours? Share your favorite FFA week story so we can all laugh, cry, or sympathize.
As you and your officers begin to develop a plan for the 3rd week in February, be sure to read the latest edition of Making a Difference in the FFA Pulse publication (will hit the world wide web Nov. 20th, 2012) for 50 ideas for FFA week, marketing ideas for every occassion, and a monthly planning calendar.
Last year's officer team decided to go all out for FFA Week and planned some awesome events. We had a corn on the cob eating contest and a milk mustache contest during the lunches, which were a huge hit. We also had a "milk the cow" contest using the Milk The Cow app on the iPads since we don't have a real cow here at school. Their creativity was enough to win them the first place FFA Week award at our state convention this past spring. I was very proud of their efforts, and this year's officer team has a lot of work to do if they want to top last year's FFA Week!