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Wes Crawford

A Holiday Poem

Posted by Wes Crawford Dec 20, 2012

Or, "Evidence I Should Never Teach Language Arts"

Ahem.  Here we go.

Twas the day before break, and the kids were all crazed

Snow was on the ground, and the school day delayed;


Shouted laughs rang through all the halls, unfettered,

Coming from the warm-clothed, bundled and ugly-sweatered;


In the ag room could be found the usual mess,

Projects, papers, and the random official dress;


Record books stack up on the desk without care,

Still waiting to be updated since last summer’s State Fair;


Projects pile up in the corner of the ag shop,

Hoping to be finished by next term’s student crop;


The greenhouse sits lonely, benches long bare,

Waiting for the plugs which will too-soon be there.


The land lab was cleaned up, to the general surprise,

With the barns buttoned up, and the pipes winterized;


Unscored papers sat ready for the reluctant red pen,

The inbox greatly outweighing the graded out-bin.


Then the last bell rings, and the halls empty out,

The last student through the door with a bang and a shout;


Before the echoes stop ringing, and last grades are due,

The rest of the teachers are out and on the road too;


But not the ag teacher, who’s parked at their desk,

Grateful for the first chance today to sit down and rest;


Winter Break is a break, but not without tasks,

For SAE visits, FFA meetings, for whoever asks.


They do it for the students, to influence their future,

and for our communities, and the future of agriculture.


But that’s okay; after all, that’s why they do it -

Because it’s good work, and good work’s worth doing.


But now, it’s lights out, and head down the road home,

No more lectures, no more labs, no more sticky clay loam;


It’s the time for family and friends, for they are the reason,

We can enjoy all the good parts of this Christmas season;


So Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year.

But should the Mayans be right, one thing is clear:


No grading will be finished before the 21st,

‘Cuz all of that work wasted would be the absolute worst.




Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and thank you for what you do!

Christmastime is Here

Posted by Tiffany Morey Dec 20, 2012

I just want to take a few minutes to wish all of you here on CoP a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday! It has been a pleasure to share my adventures as an ag teacher with you as a part of the "A Day in the Life of an Ag Teacher" blog  for the past few months, and I look forward to continuing in the new year. The life of an ag teacher is never boring, as I am sure you can all attest to, and we are lucky to have a space like CoP to use as a way to communicate with each other.


This past year has been full of ups and downs, both personally and professionally, but it is most definitely going out with a bang! I became a CASE Lead Teacher, got chosen to write this blog, added Animal Science to my program, attended my first NAAE Convention as a TTTK Award winner, and met many new and wonderful people. I also learned some valuable lessons about working with adult learners, and improved my communication and teamwork skills. My program numbers are started to increase, and I have a great group of students who and enthusiastic about ag science and FFA. I can't wait to see what 2013 brings!


I hope that you all enjoy the holiday season with your families and as Garfield says about the holidays in my favorite Christmas special: "it's not the giving, it's not the getting, it's the loving." Stay safe and be merry! Look for s'Morey in 2013!



All I can say about attending my first NAAE Convention is WOW! From the professional development workshops, to the networking opportunities, to catching up with old friends and making new ones, it was an incredible experience that I will never forget. The city of Atlanta was a really neat place to visit and the hotel where the convention was held was very upscale and nice. Everything was top notch, and I hope to attend again next year!


An example of the holiday decor that was all over the city of Atlanta in anticipation of the Christmas season.


This year I was lucky enough to be selected as a Teacher Turn the Key award winner for New Jersey. The TTTK program was amazing, and I enjoyed it's special professional development sessions immensely. The TTTK program director, Alissa Smith, planned fun and engaging sessions designed to give young ag teacher new ideas and tools to use in the classroom. With help from the Teach Ag Campaign director Ellen Thompson and ag teachers Laura Hasselquist and Natasha Mortensen, the TTTK participants were treated to 10 hours of unforgettable PD. I came home with tons of new ideas and an "agtivities" handbook, and I've been trying new things from them everyday this week with my students. Not only are they more engaged, but they've told me how much they like the new little things we've been trying out and that they want to do more of them.


Accepted my TTTK award from NAAE President Ken Couture.


I was also able to get to some other very useful PD workshops outside of the TTTK program. One of the great things about conventions like NAAE is that all of the PD sessions are designed specifically for ag teachers by ag teachers, and the material presented in them can be taken home and easily applied to your own ag program. I also gave a PD workshop on CASE at the ACTE Convention and while it wasn't as well attended as I had hoped, I was very satisfied with how it went.



I also had time to catch up with some old friends and make new ones (shout out to all my new friends from TTTK!). One of my good friends from college was also selected as a TTTK award winner, and it was nice to catch up with them since our jobs as ag teachers make it hard for us to find time to hang out. My cooperating teacher from student teaching (whose job I took when he retired) was at the convention, and it was nice to see him as well. In addition, one of my best friends and my ag teacher mentor, Robin McLean, was selected as the ACTE National Teacher of the Year! She is amazing at what she does and a true inspiration, and I aspire to develop into the type of high quality educator that she has become.


NJ ag teacher delegation at NAAE.


I was also able to get out and see the city of Atlanta a little bit. I indulged in some delicious southern food at Pitty Pat's Porch (twice), and there is nothing like good fried chicken and sweet tea! The NJ ag teacher delegation attended a one man stage production of "It's a Wonderful Life". The star of the show was the brother in law of NJ's Director of Ag Ed, and he did a wonderful job. I had never really enjoyed that movie, but thanks to his unique twist on the classic holiday favorite, I have now become a fan and plan to watch it next time it's on. It was the perfect thing to get us into the holiday spirit, and a fun time was had by all.



NJ ag teachers posing for a pic with Alpha Trivette, the star of "It's a Wonderful Life".


My first trip to the NAAE Convention is something I will never forget, and I need to thank NAAE for making it possible through the TTTK program. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and it's hard to believe Christmas is less than 3 weeks again! Look for s'Morey soon!



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