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Do you Instagram? My students have gotten me into “Insta” as they call it, and I’m kind of #addicted. I originally was a picture taker because I have aspirations of one day actually putting scissors to paper and scrapbooking my life. But our students today think more digitally than ever, and Instagram is essentially how they scrapbook.


Because I know it will be years before I’d actually scrapbook the things that happened this spring, (seriously, I still have things from high school graduation in 2005 I want to put in an album…feel free to pass judgment), I’m thinking that to best share my experiences this spring with my ag teacher friends and potential ag teachers, I’ll just share the highlights of my phone's camera roll… my spring semester Inst-ag-grams!




2014-02-06 14.07.44.jpg We've amassed tons of animals! Nubs the Nubian goat is now the unofficial school mascot. Jackson our mini horse is teaching the students about how to recover from a horse bite. #ouch

 

 

 

 

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#adorablegoatinasweater

 

 

 

 

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Created our FFA Famous wall so that competitors in CDEs can be recognized for their hard work. Since this pic we've added more team pics! #careersuccess

 

 

 

 

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My students and I experienced holding an owl at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention in February! Moments after this picture was taken, *somehow* the owl escaped and landed in the rafters. It was many hours until he was recovered. #mybad

 

 

 

 

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This picture is actually on my real Instagram - State Secretary and National Secretary! Nick (Mitch's brother) was one of my regional officers this year and I cried when he, Shelby, Amy and Kevin were elected state officers! #theynamedmeJLump

 

 

 

 

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, called Nubs precious so basically he's the most famous goat in the world. #celeblivestock

 

 

 

 

 

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Two new goats, Billy and Beau, came to live at the McGavock Farm Lab. Nubs greeted his caprine brethren timidly. They have since proven to be...destructive and pushy. On a completely unrelated note, anyone want two Alpine goats?

 

 

 

 

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We now have 4 bunnies, including Bonnie and Clyde the achingly cute dwarf satins.

 

 

 

 

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We took 12 students to State FFA Convention in Gatlinburg! First time our chapter attended in about 20 years. Because I'm sticking to camera pics only for this post, this is the only group pic I had on my phone and isn't the best quality. However, it is one of the best memories... Anna (the student at the end of the table) celebrated her birthday at this restaurant and rode the mechanical donkey shortly after our meal. I would have gotten a photo of that but her ride was about .8 seconds instead of 8! #getbackonthedonkey

 

 

 

 

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An outtake of our yearbook photo shows that 56 of our 61 members made it to the picture.

 

 

 

 

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New officer team elections! Zoey opens his envelope to find he is the new chapter historian and his friends watch in anticipation! I normally wait until banquet to announce the results, but I decided to mix it up this year with the envelope system. As much as I loved the reactions from them the day they opened their envelopes, I think next year we'll go back to the banquet announcement.

 

 

 

 

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We fostered kittens! Simba was a class favorite.

 

 

 

 

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Students who pass the large window right before my classroom door can check out our new ducklings. We'd been waiting since the fall for Momma Duck to have some babies!

 

 

 

 

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Senior officers after graduation! Even though we only had this year together, they left a legacy for our underclassmen that will ensure the chapter remains active. Proud of these kiddos!

 

 

 

 

Next on the horizon ... CASE, FFA Camp, officer retreats and maybe some summer fun somewhere

 

Follow me (@jhartlelumpkins) and my chapter (@mcgavockffa) so I can check our your Inst-ag-grams!

Matt Eddy

What is good teaching?

Posted by Matt Eddy May 6, 2014

Tao - When the student is ready, the teacher will appear

 

Are you a good teacher?  Why would you say that?

 

And before you throw something at me, I completely believe there might be as many varied answers as people reading this post --- all 4 or 5 of you.

 

Can anyone teach?  We all know there is much difference in the theory of education and the practice of education.  "If it were easy, everyone would do it".  Listening to the talking head pundits of education, it should be easy to quantify and box up all neat and tidy. Right?


The Dagget model would have us understand that the application of knowledge is key to highly rigerous education.

 

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I think that the easy part of learning is the transfer of knowledge.  Information. Facts. Certainties. Knowledge / Remembering --  Anyone can do that.

 

What I think is the hard part is sustaining the learners thirst for more, and furthering the growth from the gathering of facts. Level B and hopefully D --  and I'm not sure that everyone can do that... without help.

 

So how do we do that hard part?  And notice I asked about good teaching earlier... not good learning.  Teaching implies what we do as educators to create the environment where a student can learn.  Learning implies what the student does.  We will never have a model so good that the teacher is removed from the equation.

 

Teaching is an art.  An art that is based in science and sound methodologies.  How do we go about perfecting our teaching?

 

  • How much time really goes into reflection? of our teaching?
  • Do we challenge the process we used?
  • Does the inquisitiveness of the learner matter?
  • How much self-actualization are we capable of as teachers?
  • Can we put our ego's aside as we reflect on our shortcomings?

 

Sometimes we need a change of venue to make us reflect upon what our practices really are.

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As Ag teachers, some of our most important reflective time needs to be put into teaching.  Honing our craft.  Studying the pedagogy that is being used and tried in the current educational profession at-large. Time spent not creating new materials, but considering new methodology.  I find the variety in Agriculture Education across the country to contain a certain beauty.  But the thorns on that rose give me concern.   Can we be sustainable?  Is it transferable? Can we make system wide adjustments easily to continue to follow best practices or are we stuck with trickle down (or up) to implement changes to our current practices?

 

Aristotle wrote: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."


How should you best teach?  I don't know and I sure can't tell you.  I DO think that you should teach the best way you know how - including constantly considering the HOW.  Continuing to perfect your art for the benefit of your students.

 

Artists don't perfect their art without improving their techniques. Even Jackson Pollock

 

To quote Jay Bilas: "I gotta go to work"

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