First, where did the summer go and second, how is it possible that it is almost time to leave for National Convention already? As Ag Teachers we dedicate countless hours to the success of our programs and our students. Why? It is simple.... because we love what we do! Could you imagine how much extra time you would have on your hands if you only had one 'prep'. Wow, I almost think that would be somewhat boring. To teach the same course several times a day...I am not sure that would be for me. I love the opportunity to teach a variety of plant science topics and concepts throughout the day. In the floriculture lab in the morning, out in the greenhouses by 3rd period and outside in the landscape by the end of the day. Now that is a full day of teaching and learning to do! I can't even imagine leaving school when the final bell rings at the end of the day. I love the hustle of my students when they come into the floriculture lab at the end of the school day, excited to work on their SAE projects or gather for a meeting to plan the next FFA activity or event.
Have you ever noticed that our students seem to migrate to the 'AG Wing' of the school? I always have students stopping by to say 'Hello', look for a friend, use a computer, share a story or ask for advice, and of course, look for snacks to eat. We create a safe environment that our students enjoy visiting. We help provide opportunities to create life-long memories and we provide our students with 21st century skills that are essential for their success . We give them an opportunity to break away from the typical school day and a chance to relax. Don't get me wrong, I run a tight ship with high expectations, I play by the rules and teach my students the importance of responsibility and good work ethic but, my students know that they can come to my room for support and help when they need a place to get away at the end of the day. They also know that you can have fun while working hard and reaching goals.
Our list of things to do never seems to end and yet we rarely say NO to all of the requests to help with activities, serve on committees, write curriculum, plan leadership events, write letters of recommendation, prepare students for CDE's and ensure that SAE records are up to date. This is where all of our time goes and we love every minute of it. Before we know it, we will be selling citrus fruit and poinsettias(if you can avoid the dreaded attack of the Whitefly!) and preparing for our spring plant sales. All the while, having the time of our lives inspiring our students to become the leaders of our future. Life as an Ag Teacher provides a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students while we are doing what we love and are passionate about! Can you think of anything else that you would rather be doing? I sure can't.