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Ahh, the class of 2012.  You’re gone.


A class associated with a busy year; an Olympics, a presidential election, possible Christmas-time apocalypse thanks to the Mayans.  And amongst all that, those students we spent four years teaching, training, retraining, and preparing have finally left.


Thanks, you jerks.  Now I have to start all over.


How true is this for you?  By the time your students become self-reliant, productive, focused, mature, capable, and polished—they up and leave, waving carelessly out the back window as they yell something about ‘college’ and ‘job’ and ‘I’ve graduated.’  And then we start all over. When your day is that of an ag teacher, it’s hard to get it all done right without some really good help.  And that just isn’t your student FFA leadership:  I’m talking in the classroom, at the land lab (school farm for some of you),  out in the shop, or during fairs and other events.  With faith in the fact that many people just need the opportunity to succeed and “Doing to Learn” as my mantra, I often place responsibility on student shoulders, and rarely am disappointed.  Some other teachers cannot believe the trust left to these young people; I can’t believe I’m doing them any favors by not.  Plus I really need the help.


This last class saw some good talent go.  Our chapter president was one of the most natural teachers I’ve seen; I had Jerry come in this spring in a couple of my intro classes to teach while I was gone because I knew he could get students where they needed to be by the time I got back.  Carlos would show up to help with anything, probably be the last to leave, and do a good job in between.  Lana could be put in front of any audience and impress the toughest group.  And the list goes on.  They have left us down some horsepower.


So, you cranky old seniors from last year, good riddance.  Your selfish need to complete high school in four years makes me feel like an NCAA coach; by the time they really come into their own they up and go pro. But the good news is there is hope in the pipeline.  We have a solid group of 2013/14ers is in the mix, and we have a large pool of freshmen coming in.  This class of 2016 will also have international athletics and politics define their senior year.  We just have to get them up to the task. And hopefully their senioritis doesn’t set in when the next round of presidential campaigning begins. 


Which will likely be their sophomore year. But let’s not lose hope.  Here’s to a great year!



PS - For me, we are just wrapping up in-service so that was the inspiration and theme for the latest Oregon Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (OVATA) newsletter - the Old Yeller.  Check it out at



READER RESPONSE: Share your experience in starting a new group and saying goodbye to the old every year!

Matt Eddy

Hurricanes and Musicals

Posted by Matt Eddy Aug 24, 2012

I'm watching the name-sake of my youngest son work its way across the Caribbean and trying to tough out the first week of school.  "Fair Fever" has afflicted me all week - allergies, fatigue, not being at the fair, being in new air conditioned environment; - whatever - it's making me miserable.  A close cousin to "John Deere Cab Fever".

Hurricane Isaac.PNG

I hope that those in the path are making proper preparations, because my little Rum Tum Tugger can be a pretty ornery little boy.


I have a new student teacher this fall - the first time for a fall placement - and i think she will do fine. Heather is currently teaching the second section of my Animal Science class.  CASE curriculum sure does make it nice to have a consistent presentation across sections.  I was never very good with multiple sections getting the same 'show'.  I definitely have to appreciate the consistency it brings.  No matter if I am teaching, a student teacher is at the wheel or a substitute (Like what should be here today). Sniff, Snort, Honk.


The Iowa State Fair was a GREAT success - and I'm not just talking about the temperate weather - which was B-E-A-UTIFUL.  We calved 14 cows (13 at the fair and 1 in the pasture the day after) 8 litters of sows (one with a whopping 19 alive), a multitude of goats and sheep (too many to count) and plenty of chickens and ducks.  It still is a project that takes an enormous amount of effort, but my students are becoming very exceptional at stepping up to the work we have to undertake.  In fact, my summer lab class did more, BETTER, than any in the past.



Summer 2012 8.JPGSummer 2012 156.JPG
Summer 2012 252.JPGke1jml.jpg


Like Rum Tum Tugger - sometimes we aren't satisfied with what we've got. My goal for this year is to realize the good in what we do and the 90% of this job that makes it worth while. Sneeze... And I hope you do to.


I hope this year kicks off well for everyone else, you aren't fighting off a sickness and the kids are learning.


As always, follow the fun on Twitter = AgEd4ME or with hastag ISFALC13 or sepffa

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