There are no two ways about it - when you are an ag teacher, you wear a lot of hats. You collect a lot of hats too, if your conferences and livestock shows are like ours, but that's a bit more literal than what I am referring to. We're talking a bit more of the figurative today.
Although if I had a hat for all the different hats I wear a year/month/day/last period, it would be a lot of lids nonetheless. With only so many dining room chairs to leave them hanging on, to my wife's great joy, I'm not sure I'd have room for them all. But what if we did have hats for all those aspects of our jobs? Here's my take on what a few of those hats would be, besides the good ol' teacher hat:
Don't tell me I'm the only one who feels this way. I swear two years of vet school may have been a good idea. As I've gotten older and wiser, I tend to refer a lot of things to the professionals, but in my youth I felt obligated to help with every castration, vaccine administration, and belated de-horning (not a pretty one, that). Live and learn. And pass the AI glove.
We're not quite there yet, but pretty soon the senior year meltdowns that begin with "I don't know what I'm going to do with my life!" should commence. But that isn't the first time we help guide students into a direction and vocation. With lots of opportunities for college and career at our disposal, and bonuses like offering dual credit courses, it seems we are always handing out scholarship applications, fielding phone calls for employers looking for employees, or related activities.
I certainly feel I've attained the abilities to navigate the nuances of air travel, hotel booking, rental car reservations, and how to best feed 15 people during peak dinner time hours before the next session. Because who doesn't enjoy 30-60 minutes of phone time with Delta Airlines?
I've had the jobs, just wish I had the know-how all the time. I have discovered a great deal about about concrete, permits, greenhouse structures, inspections for permits, teaching ten kids how to build a fence, failing inspections for permits, natural gas lines, and eventually closing permits.
It can be for as great as tasks as preparing to win a state CDE; it could be as mundane as finishing notes at 8am on Monday morning. It may have been to keep speaking the rest of the Creed. Or to take the tractor out of neutral.
Impromptu Mechanical Engineer
1) Do you have a welding shop? If yes, proceed to question two.
2) Have you ever been asked to fix _____? If no, proceed to question three.
3) You are lying about either question one or two. Please go back and correct.
Sure, it took eight kids to round up the three kids running loose. And when they fail, you go out and get them all in yourself. Because you are that good. But you still can't build a fence that will hold goats in. Have you tried water-proofing it? If your fence will hold water I've heard it may hold your goats in.
Wedding Banquet Planner
Really, what's the difference? Both involve a rehearsal that isn't taken seriously enough, a ceremony that emphasizes the importance of said rehearsal, and then you eat. Invitations, floral decorations, centerpieces, etc included.
Don't lie - this has been you. Maybe you improvised a six person tent with a mop and 100 feet of cotton twine when the tent stakes were left at home during officer retreat. Or you maneuvered 25 tables through the world's slowest elevator one at a time in order to setup your banquet room when you couldn't access the ramps to the gym because the city was paving the back access. Or you organized a forestry field day on site when you arrived and the guest speakers all forgot. Or you linked seven belts together to pull a student out of a hole when hiking during a field trip. Or you just forgot to plan anything for next period. Or maybe it was just me...
I'm sure I've missed plenty of examples of either hats or MacGyver moments - seems like the comments would be a great spot for your suggestions. Enough good ones and I'll make another post of the top submissions.
But there is one more role this year is going to add to my plate at the end of this semester. It is an exciting one, but more than a little intimidating. It is going to change my life greatly, and it's a hat that is going to change how I approach all these other ones. I am greatly looking forward to where its going to take us as I wear it, and most likely will require me to reach out to my fellow teachers as I learn to incorporate it with all these other hats we all wear.
Here's looking forward to 2014. Advice appreciated.