Happy Thanksgiving! With Turkey Day in just a few days, I thought now might be a time to reflect and give thanks for the things that have made this year great so far.
1. New Jersey Farm to School Network
I first got connect with NJ Farm to School when I was in my previous position. It started with a green wall, and the partnership has now morphed into 2 green walls, presenting at conferences, and being a featured school for NJ Farm to School Week. My students are harvesting fresh herbs and greens grown in the original wall for the cafeteria and culinary arts program on a weekly basis. Our newest green wall arrived last week and I am super excited to use it with the middle school ag classes.
2. Thank you notes from students
It is often said that teaching is a thankless job. After 5 years in the profession, I received my first thank you note from a student last week. Although it was signed anonymous, I know who it was from. Thank you, anonymous for letting me know that you enjoy my classes and are having a great experience. It is something that every teacher loves to hear!
3. Farm to Table Breakfasts
This past weekend, our FFA Alumni held it's first ever Farm to Table Breakfast. We had 20+ donors from 2 different states, and all the food served was locally sourced from the sausage and eggs to the apples that went into the apple sauce and the pumpkin in the pumpkin bread. Even the coffee, juice, and milk were donated by local businesses. The community came out in full force and we served a whopping 349 plates of food! Members from both the middle and HS FFA chapters helped to serve food and keep the dining room clean and our guests happy. Our FFA Alumni did an amazing job coordinating the breakfast, preparing the food, and running the event, and it is an absolute pleasure to get to work with such a supportive group of individuals. Thank you South Hunterdon FFA Alumni for all that you do to support my FFA chapters!
4. Supportive friends, family, and significant others
From being there for me from afar, listening to me talk about my students/FFA chapters/ag classes, participating in fundraisers, conducting workshops for my students, and even driving to another state to pick up donations for the aforementioned Farm to Table Breakfast, your support is something I am extremely thankful for. You keep this ag teacher going and sane and happy, and I love you for it!
5. Motivated students
This is perhaps what I am most thankful for this year. Last year, I struggled to get students engaged and excited about learning. This year, every class is a new and fun adventure that begins with an enthusiastic "what are we doing today?!". Being it conducting soil textural tests in 8th grade ag, studying pill bugs to learn about animal behavior in Animal Science, making flower models out of Play Doh in Plant Science, or running gel electrophoresis experiments in Animal and Plant Biotechnology, my students are happy and motivated this year! Their enthusiasm is contagious and feel like I am finally teaching the way I've always wanted to teach.
Enjoy the holiday!