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?