Growing up on a cattle farm always had its adventures. From fixing watergaps to calving excitement, it was always a place of activity. And why did it always seem that when you have something to do in town on... say Saturday night... that working cows always takes 10x longer than you think. And if there were no plans in town... it took no time at all?? But I digress...
The Gate rule around our ranch was "Leave it like you found it" . Driving down the road one day in my youthful days, I found one of our gates open. Fearing it had been forgotten, I closed it. And then got reprimanded because my uncle had to get out of the tractor when he returned with the next load of hay because he had to re-open it. I guess the "Leave it like you found it" rule keeps you from doing harm or creating more work for others. It also takes a fair amount of personal responsibility when working with people to always remember to finish the job at hand and trust that others will do the same.
Some times I wonder if teaching we get so busy taking care of OUR responsibilities, we forget to try and help others as much as we should. Sometimes in the midst of trying to 'do no harm', we forget that unless we get involved - not much changes.
The University student teaching list just came out and as I look at all of the potential student teachers out there and all of the programs that they are going to travel to, I hope that as cooperating teachers, we will be able to impart upon them some of our experience, tricks and tips, and some of the other aspects that it takes to become a successful Agriculture Educator. We need these students to fill our ranks as the heavy percentage of older ag teachers in our state, and most likely our nation, prepare to retire. I have had several student teachers and find that each has been as good for my professional growth as I hope that their experience in the profession has been for them.
And I think that in some respects, I want to teach them NOT to 'Leave it like you found it' but rather to get involved and make some good things happen.
Some of my student teachers in all their glory!
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Please share any great stories of your cooperating teacher - how did they help you?