During my recent trip to Washington, D.C., I visited the Library of Congress and countless other historical places surrounding it. It was my first time ever visiting the nation’s capitol and bringing to life all of the historical landmarks I learned about growing up. For me, it was a whirlwind to see so many beautiful and meaningful sites in one, short day. My mind was needless to say on overload. One of the most memorable parts of my trip was the plaque I found in the Library of Congress. There were actually many plaques surrounding the roof of the main room. But, the one I found was very special. It was inscribed with the words,
“The Foundation of Every State is the Education of Its Youth.”
To some people, that plaque may not have meant much. But, to me and I can guarantee you any individual passionate about education in any capacity, would be moved by it. It made me realize that education has and will always be critical to our great nation. No matter what controversy, issue, problem, or plight, most anything can be resolved with the use of education. I will never forget how inspired I became after viewing that plaque and how motivated it made me to always be an educator.
I find it quite ironic that the previous story happened to me during the time that it did. You see, unlike most of my fellow bloggers, I am not yet an agriculture teacher. I am a senior student in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. I will student teach in the spring of 2012 at Union County High School in Lake Butler, Florida and will graduate with my B.S. in Agricultural Education and Communication with a specialization in Education and a minor in Soil and Water Science at the end of the spring semester. I am also the UF chapter Collegiate FFA President and a most recent communications intern with NAAE. I am indeed a very busy student. But, nonetheless, I, like 99% of all women in the world, love to talk and it is my hope that this blog will help me use my voice, or thoughts rather, to promote agricultural education and help give the viewpoint of teacher-education students to others.
Another ironic point of my first blog is that I am writing to you from the plane headed to St. Louis for the NAAE Convention. Having flown two other times already this semester I have been surprised to meet an abundance of folks, who are uninformed of agriculture’s impact on their daily lives and therefore, agricultural education’s role. Yet again, my “gift to gab” comes through for me and I hope that I have at least left my “flight buddies” with at least one fact that has altered their viewpoint from misinformed to informed.
To end this first entry, I would like to simply note that at this point in time, I feel prepared to take on all the unknown that it out there in regards to teaching. With the end of the fall semester nearing, I feel my professors and awesome PhD instructors, have prepared me as much as possible for student teaching. I am ready and excited to interact with, as they like call it, “live ammo”. I hope to spend my Christmas break drafting and tweaking lesson plans for my Agriscience Foundations 1 course and Food Science Applications 2 & 3 courses. And I look forward to telling you in the next entry all about them.
Thank you sincerely for taking time to read this. Go You!
~Cacee A. Ford