We all have those students known as "those kids". Most of the time we think of "those kids" as the ones that push our buttons and make us want to pull our hair out. But, we also have "those kids" that truly love ag and FFA and make it worth coming to work on the days when the other "those kids" drive us crazy. Sometimes, "those kids" that we really enjoy having students aren't the ones we have time to focus on, but today, I'd like to recognize them. For "those kids" who I am lucky enough to call my students, this one is for you.
Our FFA officers are often the best of the best of "those kids". The go above and beyond what is expected of them as an FFA member, and dedicate themselves to improving not only themselves as leaders and team players, but also their FFA chapters. "Those kids" take the extra initiative to make sure that their FFA chapter is the best it can be, and dedicate countless extra hours to preparing for meetings and fundraisers, writing the POA, and assisting their fellow members. They put the good of the chapter before themselves, and often the ones keeping their advisors sane when things get busy! We can't have successful FFA chapters without them, and getting the chance to work with "those kids" to see them develop and grow is one of the best parts of being an FFA advisor!
Some of "those kids" who are my chapter officers.
FFA members are also some of "those kids". They challenge themselves by participating in FFA activities and competing in CDEs. By working together with their teammates, they are able to accomplish things that improve their chapter and garner them recognition for their hard work. While they might not all aspire to be chapter officers, "those kids" want to better themselves by becoming FFA members and aren't afraid to acknowledge their love of ag. We need them to keep the FFA tradition alive, and they make being an advisor such a rewarding experience.
Some of "those kids" who are great middle and high school FFA members posing with Nancy Trivette.
"Those kids" who are good students in our ag classes are also important. They might not be FFA members, but they also have a passion for ag and are the future of the many different ag industries. They take pride in their work, and are the force behind the many moments of educational magic that happen in our ag ed classes. "Those kids" are leaders in the classroom, and understand the value and importance of hard work when it comes to academics. They will fill future agricultural career positions and without them, "those kids" who want to take ag classes and get something out of it, we ag teachers would not have jobs.
Last but not least, there are "those kids" who want to become ag teachers. They are the rarest, and perhaps the most special and most important variety of "those kids". Without them, the future of ag education would be bleak. We need "those kids" to fill ag teaching positions and to continue the rich tradition of teaching ag. "Those kids" are the ones who are the greatest pleasure to teach and the greatest treasure to discover.
One of my students who is one of "those kids" who wants to become a future ag teacher. (Image created by and borrowed from Robin McLean.)
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I ask all of you to take a moment and recognize "those kids" that you are thankful to have the opportunity to educate. They make our job as ag teachers worth it and make us feel like our hard work is appreciated. Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and look for S'Morey soon!