Race to the Top, State Testing, development and adoption of common core standards has placed a major focus on the four core courses; Math, Science, English and Social Studies. Career and Technical Education programs seem to be taking a back seat as the times and focus on education changes. As Agriscience Educators, now more than ever before it is extremely important that we showcase what we have been and continue to do in our classrooms and labs on a daily basis. With the beginning of the 3rd Marking Period recently starting, I began new units in every class this week. As I reflect on those units; I am teaching Math, Science, English and Social Studies. The cross-curricular connections are always there and I think sometimes we tend to forget how much knowledge we provide through Agriscience. I think I also heard President Obama mention the importance of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education in his State of the Union address. Agriscience is the answer.
Here's what my teaching units looked like this week:
1st Period - Floriculture I - Plant Identification and History of Floral Design
2nd Period - Horticulture I - Environmental Effects on Plant Growth - Light, Water, Temperature, pH, Soil Textural Triangle and Transplant Geraniums for Spring Plant Sale
3rd Period - Floriculture II - Plant Identification, Interior Plant Scaping, Greenhouse Maintenance
4th Period - Lunch and Planning- Helping students complete Proficiency, State and American Degree Applications (Due next week!) Plus working on information for an FFA Week Display
5th Period - Floriculture Independent Study- Working on Floriculture CDE Plant Identification, Problems and Practicums, and Preparing Marketing Plan for the Valentine's Day Sale
6th Period - Horticulture II -Plant Identification, Calculating Fertilizer Requirements and Planning a seed germination schedule for the Spring Plant Sale
Hmmmm......... think what we teach is important to help students make connections to the real world? Plus.. we had a snow day this week and were only in school four days!.....And it is Friday night and I just finished reviewing an American Degree Application.
My point... Frequently we are asked to "raise the rigor and relevance" in our classrooms. The average person has no idea what an Agriscience classroom looks like. They have no idea what the daily life of an ag teacher is like. We must tell them and show them. We know that Agriscience is the application of many core standards and through the FFA we offer students additional life and leadership skills that will help them succeed in the demanding 21st century workplace. We need to assure that we have the support of our administrations. political leaders, community members and business professionals. They need to know what we do and what we provide for our students. The impact we make on students is amazing.
You know the rigorous cross-curricular connections. You know the value and relevance of your Agriscience program. You know the passion and dedication that you give everyday to make it successful.
FFA Week is quickly approaching in February! It is time for show and tell! What are you doing to showcase your program?