This year, our school had pajama day as part of the homecoming spirit days. Staff were allowed to participate, and I enjoyed a day of being comfortable at work. This level of physical comfort is similar to how I've recently started to feel while teaching. Maybe it's having a student teacher that makes me strive to be my best, or maybe it's just time, maturity, and number of years in the profession. Regardless, it's a wonderful feeling to finally have!
For years, I was teaching to survive. Lately, I've noticed that my teaching technique has evolved and I'm really starting to thrive. Instead of just trying to make it through each class, lab, and lesson, and constantly stressing about grading, having the needed materials, and content delivery, it feels as if I've found a rhythm. I no longer need to consult the teacher notes for each CASE lesson, my classroom is organized, materials and supplies are easily accessible for my own as well as student use, and I've finally devised an efficient grading system. Classroom management is a no longer an issue, and students are clearly aware of expectations and procedures and are cooperative about following them. All of my classes are ahead of where they have been in the past, labs and lessons are flowing smoothly, grading is no longer a major stressor, and best of all, the students come to class excited for what each new day will bring.
My punny solution to students using their cell phones in class
Having a student teacher has also helped me to focus on how and why I teach the way I do. Instead of just teaching to get through each lesson, I've learned to focus and refine my technique to make it as student friendly as possible. It's wonderful to have someone to talk about educational theory and practices with, and who is as passionate as I am about what I do. My student teacher helps me to continuously push myself to be the best ag educator I can be, and to want to refine and hone my craft to make it an art form. I might be the cooperating teacher, but they have taught me equally as much about how to be the best ag teacher that I can be. My purpose for the profession has been renewed, and I find myself looking forward to the challenges of each new day at school.
This year also brought a change in administration to my school. My new principal is so supportive of the ag program, and goes out of her way to help our FFA members. She helped make our trip to the Big E possible, attends our meetings and events, and is truly committed to our members. It's not often that you feel appreciated for the hard work that you do as an ag teacher, but she makes me feel that way every single day. With her support, I know the program is going to continue to grow and accomplish great things.
A wonderful surprise gift of some great TAg swag
Hope everyone is having a good year thus far and safe travels home to all those that were at National Convention.
Until next time,