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Matt Eddy

Auld Lang Syne

Posted by Matt Eddy Dec 21, 2011

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?


For auld lang syne, my jo (or my dear),
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


Burns’ original Scots verse

Another semester closed … almost.  As we wrap things up here and try to tie a nice bow on it, I can’t help but reflect on the year(s) and reminisce about years gone by.  It also probably doesn’t help that old students like to stop by this time of year and visit a bit or sometimes longer.  By far and large, if you can stay in this game long enough… those are the best visits I think that an Ag Teacher… or any teacher can get.  Even if they just want to fill out an American FFA Degree application. ;-)


I went back thru the archives and picked up some pictures from years gone by… a trip down memory lane if you will.  It’s probably a good time of year to take stock and re-orient for the new semester.  I hope the best of your past is the worst of your future. (and I re-learn that when I stay behind the camera, I'm not in front of the camera... sneaky kids got me a couple times over the years).


National Convention 2007 14.jpg

Rule #1 - Don't let the kids have the camera...

An Sci - Injection banana 6.jpg

Zach is now stationed with the Coast Guard in Kodiak, Alaska.  I hope I never require his services, but would be dang glad to see it was him coming to my aid.  A kid you felt privileged to teach.  And the more I reflect on years gone by, and these pictures -- a very large majority of my past students fall into that category. Even including a few who probably wouldn't think that they belonged in it.

Jim and Taylor - Champ Res.jpg

Taylor and Jim: I seldom ever saw one without the other... even in the show ring.

Nat Con group 2.jpg

My First trip to National Convention at SE Polk (and the inception of digital photography for our chapter).  A super group to get me broke in right. ;-)

NWSS Meats Team Photo 1.jpg

National Western Meats team - I just drove the bus... literally.  This bunch was a group of go-getters.  Huge futures ahead, each one of them.

An Sci Chicken 06.jpg

Animal Science hatching chicks -- as big of a PR hit as I have ever had.  Remarkable how excited kids were ... and they weren't even my students!

2007 Spring District Trap 15.jpg

Once again, don't let the kids have the camera...

FFA 2008 Test Plot 33.jpgFFA 2008 Test Plot 48.jpg

My first, and to date, only chapter test plot.  And true to their motto, FC and Kent made it happen. "Together we CAN".

Rocky Mountian Oysters 07.jpg

Students preparing Rocky Mountain Oysters.

SLC 2008 90.jpgSLC 2008 123.jpg

And I found some time while at State Convention to show them my favorite haunt in college.  Memorial Union Rec room. 


I hope that this holiday treats you well; you and yours are healthy and close this holiday season. 

And for the record, I’ll take another cup o’ kindness yet… for auld lang syne.

Follow the fun on Twitter @AgEd4ME


Posted by Josh Dahlem Dec 13, 2011

I recently spent the evening talking to a welding instructor from north Louisiana about our roles in school and Aretha Franklin's R-E-S-P-E-C-T came on in and our conversation led to this. .


He was facing a problem with getting respect from teachers and administrators as being a legitimate teacher. He was having issues of being left out of the loop and was always the last to be told of happenings in the school, but the first to be called on to fix someone else’s problem or equipment.  As an ag teacher, I could relate to him in some points but also shared my point of view


As a non tested subject, we are often pushed to the back of school improvement agendas and fight the ongoing battle of showing our programs worth. The advice I gave him was to document everything, explain how the welding skills he teaches his students, puts them a step ahead of the average student in the job market. I highlighted my success with CASE and showed him how students who enrolled in that course scored 10% better on their Biology End of Course Exam and 31 pts higher on their 11th grade Science Graduate Exit Exam. This data has helped to show that Ag in my school plays a vital role by improving test scores.


Please share you advice on how you prove to administrators and teachers that your program is an important part of the school and not that place to get things fixed?


Something said on this thread could help a struggling teacher.


Posted by Cacee A. Ford Dec 5, 2011






Think back to a moment when you were inspired in regards to our profession of agricultural education.  Recall the excitement you felt during and after the experience.  And finally, as you think about this moment also think about the motivation that came over you.  Have you ever had a moment like that?


I certainly have and it was the entire week at this year’s NAAE Convention!  I have been back in the sunshine state for just at 1 week and I am truly missing convention and all of the wonderful people I met there.


One of the most memorable parts of convention for me was to witness the strength of the comrade between the Board of Directors, NAAE staff, the student staff and partners and sponsors of NAAE. So many times I saw individuals from each of these groups working together to ensure everything was running as seamlessly as possible.  Everyone was gracious, patient and open-minded, even in the busiest of times and even doing the small things.


It was also incredible to see how pre-service teachers, such as myself, are indeed an important topic of convention.  Sometimes it is difficult to be taken seriously because I have no teaching experience yet.  Every single time I told an ag teacher or convention attendee that I was on staff and will be student teaching in the spring, I was always made to feel important and like what I will be doing truly matters, because as we all know it certainly does.  And we all also know how critical it is to recruit more college students to pursue our profession. 


If we don’t build those students up and provide them with experiences and opportunities to be apart of our organization, how can we expect them to want to teach agriculture?


I hope that my blogs will help contribute to bringing about a resolution for this and will add to the current efforts to recruit and retain teachers.  Conversing with the other student staff about their student teaching experiences was also awesome to be apart of because we each will be teaching different courses, yet can relate to the same difficulties and triumphs throughout our college careers.


Between working for NAAE at National FFA Convention and now NAAE Convention, I have personally met and conversed with the numerous sponsors who not only provide funds, but valuable knowledge, products and relationships to both events.  I would like to give a shout out to Belinda who graciously set up and facilitated the Lab Aids workshops, sponsored by DuPont, who loaded me up with a class set of the Red Light, Green Light workshop materials.  You see, I will be teaching this lesson next Wednesday to a Biotechnology 2 course in Williston, FL.  Because of her kindness I am able to provide this lesson with little costs and increased familiarity with the information presented.  I am beyond excited to teach this lesson and I hope I make Mrs. Belinda, Scott and Cassie proud!


Alissa told me back over the summer that all of the work I put in during the internship would pay off at convention.  She was exactly correct.  My primary assignments dealt with the general session presentations and so I spent a great deal of time perfecting the PowerPoint’s and communicating with President, Greg Curlin and President Elect, Ken Couture to ensure we had a consistent and accurate routine. 


I would also like to mention Greg and I's musical scheme to play Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying” as it matched this year’s them.  We, of course, also had to include some Journey and George Strait in the playlist as well!   Along with those antics also included a wonderful prank we played on Ken.  I am not looking forward to the payback we may receive next year!


I could write pages and pages about my week at the 2011 NAAE Convention.  Yes, it was that awesome!  I will close by saying that if any one person attends convention as either a teacher or staff member or workshop presenter or whatever and their goal is to further inspire and motivate another attendee, they certainly have.  Every time someone from back home has asked me about my week in Missouri I think about how that week was unforgettable!


My passion for our profession is now stronger than ever thanks to the NAAE organization and the internship they selected me for, and therefore, the opportunity to work at convention this year.  I am so grateful for all Jay, Alissa, Miranda, Julie, Amaris and Mrs. Linda have done for me.  I cannot wait to attend next year’s convention as a teacher and have a reunion with everyone!


Thank you so much for reading this entry.


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