As we near National TEACH AGday, I wanted to talk a bit about the Teach Ag in DC 2012 project. A phenomenally good idea from the Teach Ag campaign, 6 students from AFA (3) and FFA (3) were selected to teach a lesson on agriculture to 7th grade students in Washington, DC during National Ag Week.
Three teachers were selected from around the country to help mentor 3 pairs of students in their lesson preparation, classroom management and also to answer their questions about the profession. Not only could this not be a better idea, but the students were phenomenally talented specimens. If this is the future of agriculture education, we are indeed in good hands and the rest of us are going to have to step up our game a bit. These young pups are gonna be game-changers.
After arriving in DC, we met on Tuesday afternoon to finally meet one another after a few months of emails and conference calls. After trial runs of each lesson, we tried to help them refine their lessons for their intended audiences, identify places where they may have difficulty with students and generally get a feel for how a real lesson in the classroom would look.
Wednesday the students were busy with other Ag Day activities and I was able to take in a few sights of DC and meet with some elected leaders.
Thursday afternoon - we taxied over to Stuart-Hobson Middle School to work with our cooperating teacher - Mr. Creef. Mr. Creef is indubitably an Ag Teacher in his heart. His rooms were filled with exciting, engaging activities, experiments and poster-charts of student projects. He was totally student driven and wanted them to be fully engaged to his process but also to learn about the world around them. He even takes students to Montana/Wyoming each year to get them a taste of what ranch/rural life is like. After three days of hopping Metro trains, I can empathize and felt as much out of my element as they must feel in the west.
Mr. Creef's students were exceptional -- they were receptive, engaged and excited to learn from our student teachers. I probably learned more from student teachers and 7th graders, then they learned from me. I have always said that kids are kids no matter where you go.
A great project and couple days in our Nation's Capitol during National Ag Day.
Group 1 – Mentor Teacher Aaron Geiman, North Carroll High School – Maryland
Jodi Boe – NDSU (Right)
Bethany Markway- Missouri State (Left)
Group 2 – Mentor Teacher Matt Eddy, Southeast Polk High School - Iowa
Josh Johnson – SDSU (right)
Jenna Moser- Penn State (left)
Group 3 – Mentor Teacher Robin McLean – Northern Burlington County School District – New Jersey
April Johnson – SDSU (Right)
Nina Miller – Virginia Tech (Left)
A great experience and I can't wait to see where it goes next year.