Or, why I have to reintroduce myself to my students every other week in the spring.
According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become great/the best/annoying to everyone not as good as you.
If that is the case, then I must be approaching phenom status when it comes to writing sub plans. Welcome to Spring.
In retrospect, I'm pretty sure March was last week because this month has flown by. What began with a CDE or two was filled in with a couple great conferences in the middle. The first one was just a couple weeks ago down in San Antonio. Throw a few thousand science teachers together, drop a few ag teachers in the mix, and you get the National Science Teacher's Association conference. Thanks to the ever-generous support of DuPont, a few Agriscience Ambassadors were able to join in and present a few workshops to science teachers from literally across the world. Not to mention an opening night dinner that couldn't be beat inside the grounds of the Alamo. Yes, that Alamo. Apparently they build it right inside of downtown San Antonio. You would have thought that would have helped out Crockett and Co back in 1835 (and yes, it is smaller than you expect. And either those walls were higher back then or people were a lot of shorter).
If you haven't heard of the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA), you are missing out. This program is one of the best professional development opportunities for ag teachers out there, and I've been to a few. The folks at DuPont know how to make teachers feel valued, and go all out to help you be a better teacher of inquiry and agriscience for your students. I was able to be part of this very cool experience back in 2010, and have been able to be part of workshops here in Oregon as well as NAAE Convention, FFA Convention, and at NSTA. More importantly, all those speakers and inservices I've sat through re: inquiry and science and science and inquiry finally made sense as to how it can apply in my classroom. I am very thankful to have been able to be part of it, and to continue to help spread the word.
Then it's back on a plane and headed home. After a solid 2.5 days back home (which is exactly how long 'they' say it takes to recover from the time changes/jet lag), and just enough to reset classes and check in on the pile of fire irons, it was back on the road for a six hour drive across Oregon for the NAAE Region I Conference in Pendleton, Oregon. If you've heard of Pendleton, you know this old rodeo town is in one of the most unique agricultural areas in the western US. With about 70 teachers from across eight states, we had a great gathering of teachers and university staff at one of the best-hosted conferences we could ever hope to attend. Props to Blue Mountain Community College and Nick Nelson for hosting an awesome event complete with Underground Tours, Calcutta Calf Roping (which, for the record, I can proudly claim to be part of the team with the 3rd and 4th best times and certainly the team with the best average), driving through ranches and farms and hearing from some great teachers presenting Ideas Unlimited and workshops. Even Breed'n Betsy herself was there in the...synthetic flesh.
As you can see, our very own NAAE President Farrah Johnson gets gloved up to pass the AI gun, while Region I Secretary Heath Hornecker coaches from the side and Region I Vice President Erica Whitmore needs a glove to use the camera at this point of the conference. On the right, Paul Andres of La Grande High School in La Grande, Oregon demonstrates using ultrasound for body composition.
All in all, a great conference and great weekend. If you haven't attended a Region conference, put it on your list. It's time well spent.
And now? Well, the bad news is I won't teach a full week of school but once until the end of the year. In the next nine days, I'll be at CDE's for six of them. But at least I can still keep working on those sub plans.
What's keeping you busy these days?