Where does one begin? Discovery and Change -- it's all around us and 'they' might be right. You learn something new every day... twice if your paying attention.
The last month or so has been a blur, but not unlike any April since I started teaching. It seems like when I am just wanting to kick hard for the last lap, the students are pulling to the side to puke their guts out... The end of school is such a contrast. The weather is nice, but we have to be inside for school work; the seniors are mentally on sabbatical, but we have a month of classwork to finish before the final grades are due; and just when you want to 'coast one out', there are things to do galore and more than you can shake a stick at.
Our Altoona baskets are later this year than typical, but they will probably turn out fine when they go out next week, during our Senior SCIP (Senior Community Improvement Program) Day activities. The kids work hard on them and they make the downtown look really good during the summer. Plus, having projects that are 'fill to order' in the greenhouse allows for great learning experiences and the students take a lot of ownership in the baskets.
State FFA convention went well. Our freshman Conduct of Meetings team competed and represented themselves and our program well. In some greater good, non-competitive side of me, I think that I do agree with the quote - "The Journey is the Reward". I'm sure in a few years they won't remember exactly how they did, but will be able to use the skills they developed for a lifetime....
I had my first "Iowa Star Finalist in Ag Production" this year and Southeast Polk's first as well. Very satisfying for me, as this girl was a model FFA member, works hard, is a great person to be around, chapter president, wants to be an Ag Teacher (despite the ag teacher she got saddled with for her high school career ). Can't wait to see what exciting things she will accomplish in her future. Sometimes, you couldn't pay me enough to come back on Monday and sometimes, I'd do this job for free. This is probably a great example of the latter.
Our ALC cows for the Iowa State Fair's Animal Learning Center (ALC) are pregged and we will probably check them again in late May / Early June to narrow down the birthing window a bit and let the kids get a chance to palpate as well. If you follow Twitter, #ISFALC11 is what I will use as we get into the fair season.
I leave for Nicholasville, KY this weekend (Friday) for CASE LEAD teacher training. I can't wait to see some of the great teachers that are involved in this project. Nicholasville is a 'make your own fun' kinda place, but we manage to have a good time. Ag teachers are an entertaining bunch, for sure. It's actually pretty intriguing to me how similar we all are, but how different our geographies can be.
If you haven't checked CASE out yet -- you should. It ain't your daddy's agriculture, so if you find yourself shopping around for a better curriculum (that you don't have to create from scratch), need to beef up the science you teach, or are plain looking for a better way; you might want to investigate or talk with teachers across the nation who are using it.
I'm also pretty excited to see what story's emerge from across the country -- what kids like / don't like, how well it's received, what other states think of it, who is getting science credit, etc. I can't believe I'm getting excited about curriculum, but the potential is outstanding.
As always, follow the fun on Twitter @AgEd4ME
Hakuna Matata, ME