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Wes Crawford

"Three Reasons to Teach"

Posted by Wes Crawford Jun 28, 2012

A social studies teacher at the school I student-taught at once outlined for us the three reasons he taught:


"June, July, August."


To be fair, he was actually a pretty darn good teacher as well as a basketball coach, but the flippant response is not unknown.  And again, June-July-August are a definitely needed break following the spring chaos and the absence of class is enjoyable.  But the fun doesn't stop for an ag teacher.


This summer has been fairly wet and colder than the norm, even for western Oregon - in fact, it looks like it is raining now.  Which is why we still have three fields of hay unbaled.  But the time has already been put to good use and will continue to be so with a lot of work to be done, fun to be had, and a little R&R somewhere in the middle.  Let's break it down to the same three reasons to enjoy the summer season:


June:  the start of summer saw the kids leave and the rain stay, our market Lamb Show and fair showmanship practice, as well as some planning for a national convention trip.  The best part of this month, however, was the Oregon Vocational Agriculture Teacher's Association (OVATA) Summer Conference.  Just 3.5 hours of car ride to the smack dab middle of Oregon and we were living it up with 92 other ag teachers.  A great turnout and good lineup of workshops meant everybody left with a sharper saw.  One telling note - we held two "Survival for Young Teachers" workshops geared and marketed to 0-5 year teachers. There were 25 in the first session - and they were all 3 years or less and that didn't include them all.  An interesting observation on current events in agricultural education.


July: so my wife and I are actually taking a vacation.  WHOA - and it doesn't involve a conference registration or a van full of kids.  We are escaping for 13 days to somewhere other than here; in fact, we haven't told hardly anybody where we are going.  I think I'm going to just post random pictures on Facebook and see how long it takes our friends to guess where we are.  Then its back for 7 days of getting things in order before it's back on a plane to Nashville and 10 days of the Intro to AFNR CASE Institute.  While I've been around the project quite a bit, this will be my first plunge in the waters.


August: where did the summer go?  Back from CASE and it's three days to move in to fair.  A week of fair actually tranlates to about 12 days with the pre- and post- fair work thrown in.  We'll then sleep for two days and gear up for our officer retreat, take a week off and then roll into fall inservice and State Fair for a Labor Day weekend start of school.


And my students say I never plan anything.  Looks like a pretty solid outline to me.  And some people, all they can say for all that is "I'm working."  I'll take my plan.



READER RESPONSE:  what are your June/July/August plans in your ag-teaching neck of the woods?

Matt Eddy

Life is good today

Posted by Matt Eddy Jun 19, 2012

Ah, summer.... that magical time caught someplace between being young and growing up.  As educators, we get to live in a world that is continually changing the seasons and the inevitable arrival of summertime. Every year we get to experience the joy of finishing another school year, the first real taste of summertime, and the inevitable feelings that come with those first days of a new school year (again).


My summer got slammed by a left hook from reality and a short jab of 'that's how it is'. 


I just finished CASE Plant Science in Iowa with 19 other wonderful instructors and two very good lead teachers. We had a great time, learned a lot and definitely left with some great new skills to apply. This week, we are hosting the NAAE Region III conference in Iowa and I look forward to spending some time with the great teachers from other states; then IAAE convention, then to teach CASE AFNR in Ohio; then the Polk County Fair, then a week to spend some time with family and then my summer Advanced Animal Science Lab and then the ALC at the Iowa State Fair. The day after we finish the state fair - we start school with students. I'm not sure I even caught a glimpse of summer in there. Or at least not the summer some folks think about.


My friend Scott, teaches Math (hey - we can't all be aggies) and lives in San Diego -- where I hear you should go if you love the beach life.  He works hard at the pool side / beach life and I'm sometimes very envious of the laid back style that his summer takes on.  I'm even more envious as he jabs a little at the working folks (and me) for having to work while he recreates.


But I'm not sure that I would trade my summer for his.  Granted, I would love to have some time to just do 'whatever', but I don't think it could be as impactful.  I suppose that we all find our own paths thru this maze we call life.


For those who didn't know - a well known broadcaster in Iowa passed away too soon a few weeks ago.  Mark Pearson was a friend to agriculture and a charismatic soul who never knew a stranger.  I always admired what he did for agriculture and more so, the way that he went about doing it.  And busy -- whew - that guy had irons in the fire - and then built a few more fires.  For sure a life ended too soon, but one that left a huge legacy for agriculture - probably more than we will ever know.



As I reflect on the time we spend - and where we spend it - this thought comes to mind; Live a little more today, worry a little less about tomorrow, and remember the only thing you take with you is what you leave behind.


Here's hoping your summer is just what you need it to be.


As always, follow the fun on twitter @AgEd4ME

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