Catherine DiBenedetto


Blog Post created by Catherine DiBenedetto on Aug 19, 2011

Being an AG teacher/FFA Advisor is one continuous circle revolving around the three core model. I never really get a chance to take a BREAK, but during the summer and periodically through out the year, I force myself to put the BRAKES on and slowdown. Our responsibilities never end. SAE projects continue, expand or become new ideas. State Fairs, CDE's, greenhouse maintenance, and leadership training for a new FFA officer team are only a few of the tasks that keep us busy long after the final day of school in June. E-mail communication never takes a break and there always seems to be something urgent that needs to be done by yesterday.


If this sounds familiar, you may rarely get a chance to take a break either. I hope that you take the time to put the brakes on and slowdown from time to time. We all need a chance to recharge, step away from the daily routine and get a fresh start. Today is the last official day of "summer break" for me. The 2011-2012 school year begins Monday August 22, 2011 with an inservice day. Tuesday in also an inservice day and Wednesday the students return from their break. Wednesday begins a new school year with new and exciting innovative ideas to help students achieve higher success.


Here is my TOP TEN (10) list of things to help make your school year as an AG Teacher/FFA Advisor successful:


10) Set GOALS- make sure they are SMART GOALS- not just your own- have your students set goals too- don't forget to review and update them regularly.

9) Implement one new teaching strategy from Day #1- something you have wanted to do but never really did because it was easier to use last year's lesson plan.

8) Use a planner - it helps keep everything organized- encourage your students to use planners too.

7)With your planner...Plan ahead and prepare several months in advance (if possible for the entire year)- calendars fill very quickly, it is good to know what is going on so that you do not double or triple book yourself.

6) Develop something new to enhance a weak area in your FFA Chapter POA (program of activities)-it is so easy to simply do the same thing from year to year. Poll your members and officers to find out what they want to do. Turn that two star chapter award into a three star! ***

5)Wag More, Bark Less- sometimes it is so easy to complain, try to look at the bright side, keep a positive attitude and encourage you students to do the same.

4) Evaluate and make certain what you are doing is good for students... it has to be all about them! The stakes are high , set high expectations.

3) Do you know what INQUIRY BASED LEARNING is? If so, are you using it in your classroom? How can you implement it more? If not, you have homework to do. Check out how to become a National Agriscience Ambassador and your teaching strategies will positively change forever!

2) EAT LUNCH- preferably sitting down-if at all possible!

1)If you rarely get a BREAK, force yourself to at least put the BRAKES on and slowdown from time to time.

Wishing all of you a successful 2011-2012 school year!