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A Day In the Life of an Ag Teacher

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Matt Eddy

CASE in action

Posted by Matt Eddy Sep 30, 2010

Yesterday (early out for conferences) and today, my Animal Science students got done with their dichotomous keys on species that they had selected.  It's really energizing to have students working harder than you are, learning from each other, and learning to present information to their peers. CASE ASA 2.2.4 - Project Key to the Breeds.


I may have to go out on a limb and say that CASE may be what keeps me in Ag Education - (and I am not sure how good that is - keeping an underachiever like me around.. LOL )


Some photos of the better projects (and probably more the reason for selection, the better pictures).  Seems that after 11 years, I still have some work to do in the photography department.


ASA 2.2.4 Group 02.JPGASA 2.2.4 Group 01.JPGASA 2.2.4 13.JPGASA 2.2.4 08.JPG

Kellie Claflin

Waiting to Jump In

Posted by Kellie Claflin Sep 29, 2010
As I start my last semester on campus, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on college and my decision to become an agricultural educator.

For a girl who grew up without one drop of desire of wanting to become a teacher, the times sure have changed. After taking a few middle school ag classes, I decided to combine my interest in communications and agriculture and become an ag journalist. However, as I took more ag classes I started to think about the possibility of becoming an ag teacher. By my senior year, I had made the decision to go to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for agricultural education.

I remember the excitement of starting college four years ago and meeting all the other ag ed majors. I joined Ag Ed Society and got involved with parliamentary procedure workshops and collegiate events at the National FFA Convention. My favorite college class was AGED 120: Orientation to Agricultural Education that I took my first semester of college. It was in that class that I knew that I was in the right place. Not only did I love everything that we learned about, but also met some of my best friends.

Now I'm getting ready to go into the real world and student-teach. I'm both really excited and really scared. Then I remember how my ag teacher and others that I've met over the years have impacted me and feel reassured. My student-teaching application is turned in and now I am just waiting to jump in.
Matt Eddy


Posted by Matt Eddy Sep 29, 2010

A day in the life. 


We hold Parent - Teacher Conferences early by some traditional dates but I like it.  We finish tonight at 8 and receive our 'comp day' on Friday -- YABA DABA DOO!  Benefits include getting a chance to talk with students prior to the semester being un-savable.  Meeting the parents early also gives you some insight into why the kids behave the way that they do.


Our chapter is off and running and as usual - October is a bear of a month.  Not only do I have a Program of Study meeting next week, but we take our annual trip to the NWMSU (Northwest Missouri State University) Fall CDE day.  12 CDE contests and you can enter as many kids as you like.  Now, some don't like the one day, 12 subject area content, but I have quite the affinity for it.  Not only do you get to enter as many kids as want to go, but they get to participate in any career area they would like to choose.  Rod Barr and the Ag Ed crew do an exceptional job of running that event.  My biggest problem now, is that I think I may have to have TWO busses to make the 5 am departure time. 


Some instructors have asked why we make such an outing, but for me -- my kids have, time and time again, remembered this trip long after their years in my classes.  Not necessarily the results, even though we have had a modicum of success - but the EXPERIENCE of it all.  They always remember the donuts, the 5 am departure, the bathroom stop in some small town in northwest Missouri, or the friendships they created by being cooped up on the bus ride with their fellow students. Bottom line - Giving students the opportunity to PARTICIPATE is the driving force behind our trip.  (and it's fun ).


I spent some time today running the requisition gauntlet to try and secure the final funding to get the equipment needed to continue our experience with the CASEcurriculum - teaching Animal Science and piloting AFNR (Ag Food - Natural Resources).  I must say that so far - my preparation time has been cut down to almost nothing compared to what I'm used to.  I teach 2 Animal Science sections and 3 AFNR sections,  which is easy to prepare for, when I am using this curriculum.  Where was this stuff my first 10 years??


I'm trying to get our greenhouse up and running yet this fall, but it won't be online till probably middle of October.  I think the young lady coming down to student teach this year is a horticulture deity, so that will take the pressure off of my meager knowledge.  The kids are working on an automatic watering system, working our inventory to see what we have, making plant selections for spring and planning a late fall fundraiser of poinsettia.


Our ALC (Animal Learning Center) cows are doing well.  Students are busy doing chores every couple days and I need to make my way back down to the pasture to see for myself - although all the reports have been good.  (I think I know why my dad was always somewhat perturbed at the reports I gave when I would check the herd in my youth. )  "Okay" - "Fine" - "Good" somehow just don't reach the level of detail to make me feel secure.  Plus most of my students have no real experience in production agriculture as well.


Our National Convention trip is locked and loaded - selection was in late August and the kids are excited to go.  Which reminds me, I need to schedule a meeting with them next week.


Still listening to the "Brandon Clark Band"  -  THANKS LEE ANN!  The summer of Red Dirt has yet to expire....


well - maybe enough for now -- I will say - Teaching Agricutlure is the toughest job you'll ever love.  I guess if it were easy; everyone would do it.


Follow me on Twitter  @AgEd4ME or Facebook


Some pictures from this past week:


Soils Clinic at Knoxville



Members working during the Iowa State Fair at the Animal Learning Center.

ALC 2010 10.JPG

I remember my first day in the classroom like it was yesterday. I was a very "wet behind the ears" fresh out of college eager newbie - convinced that all my students were as eager to receive my pearls of wisdom as I was to deliver them. I spent time weeks before school started getting my classroom ready and greeted each student as they arrived with my most welcoming smile. They were all boys, that first class  - sophmores through seniors.  Just before I started calling names to take attendance one student asked when the "real" teacher would be there - I explained I WAS the real teacher. From somewhere in the back row I heard "she won't make it to Christmas". What a mistake - not because I punished the student who said that - I never even tried to figure out which one of the 20 young men it was - the mistake was that the gauntlet had clearly been laid down - and I never turned down a challenge. They couldn't have known it but that one statement probably motivated me as much as anything could have. That was 33 years ago - and I have never looked back. Stay tuned to hear how that first year ended up - better than you might think as well as more stories and lessons this teacher learned along the way.

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