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Kellie Claflin

New beginnings

Posted by Kellie Claflin Aug 14, 2011

This summer has been full of transition and good choices for me. In June I finished student teaching, in July I moved home and searched for a job and in August I'm preparing for my new beginnings!
In June I finished my student teaching, took students to the state FFA convention and attended the professional development conference for Wisconsin ag teachers. It was by far one of the best months yet. State convention was a great experience which allowed me to fall in love with agricultural education all over again. It was so nice to catch up with my ag teacher friends, but more importantly spend time with the FFA members I co-advised during student teaching and support them. For the first time all semester, I was truly able to bond with this group of students and it was great! After a rough end to the semester, it was so nice to hear that even just one student enjoyed my class and inspired her. It’s the little things. My experience at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educator’s Professional Development Conference was also awesome. I love ag teachers, learning and networking - so it was perfect!

My July was spent moving home and searching for a job. It was nice to spend time with my family who I hadn’t seen for an extended amount of time in quite awhile.

Now I’m getting ready for a new beginning - a job! I’m excited to start teaching in northeastern Wisconsin. My position is unique, as I’ll be teaching in one school district in the morning and another one in the afternoon. It’s a challenge, but it’s great to see the support and passion for agriculture that the communities and districts show.

Currently, I’m trying to find out what side is up as I figure out where to live, what I’m teaching, get classrooms ready and all those other duties that go into getting ready for the school year. I’m excited, scared, optimistic, and overwhelmed all at the same time.

Thank you to you all for your support as I finished my undergraduate classes, survived student teaching and now as I begin my first year teaching!

Good luck to everyone in the new school year! You all rock!

My teeth must know that I’m a wiser person now that I’m almost finished with my student teaching. Twenty-four hours after I crossed the stage at graduation, my wisdom teeth decided to try to make an appearance. Uff da.

 

Sunday on my drive back across Wisconsin from River Falls, I spent a lot of time thinking about wisdom - both the teeth and knowledge types. A couple weeks earlier during our FFA banquet, I was honored to be able to say the advisor’s part in opening ceremonies. Saying “here by the owl” for the very first time was a pretty neat experience. Even though I have been in the classroom and helping out with FFA activities since the end of January, it really set in that I’m an ag teacher. I think that opening ceremonies really does hold true, because I do “hope that my advice will always be based on true knowledge and ripened with wisdom.” Especially on those days when I feel like I’m not quite sure what end is up! Thankfully, those days are getting fewer and farther between, even though the day in the life of an ag teacher is never dull. It’s amazing to think about how much I’ve grown both in and out of the classroom. There have been good days, days when I think I’m crazy and days when I just can’t help but laugh.

 

The greenhouse class I am intern teaching (meaning that I have the class 100% by myself – no cooperating teacher) has made sure that I have learned a LOT over the past semester. And as much as they drive me up a wall, they are some of the greatest kids I’ve ever met. There ingenuity is really what amazes me day after day – especially as we’ve been working in the greenhouse. One of the major projects that the students took on was cleaning our aquaponics system since all the fish had died earlier in the year, or so we thought. About a week ago, after draining most of the water out of the tank, the students found a tilapia that was still alive. This poor tilapia made a tour of the school before finding a new home in a fish tank in the ag room. Sadly, our poor tilapia didn’t make it through the night and the next day in class I asked a couple of gentleman to dispose of our fish friend. By the end of class, the fish was buried in the back of the school complete with a cross that said, “Here lies the S.S. Minnow, Our beloved fish,” and flowers marking its grave.

 

Through all these experiences, the biggest piece of wisdom that I have gained is that there is always somebody wiser than you. I’ve been blessed with two wonderful cooperating teachers that support me and give me advice on teaching, interviews and life. I’ve also had great university supervisors and professors that remind me to not be so hard on myself and that I’m on the right path. I know that in my first years of teaching the biggest thing that I will need to great mentors and support. I’ll need somebody to listen to me vent and share their own experiences. It’s nice to have that reminder that great teachers didn’t just spring from the womb – they went through trials and tribulations too. (At least that’s what I’m hoping is true )

 

 

Kellie Claflin

CDEs and Camaraderie

Posted by Kellie Claflin Apr 3, 2011

This weekend was full of my favorite things – CDEs and camaraderie!

 

When I was in high school one of my favorite parts about FFA was heading to contests early in the morning and getting in some good bonding time with fellow FFA members and our FFA advisor. CDE’s also gave me the opportunity to experience a college campus and played a large part in my decision to attend UW-River Falls.

 

During college I was able to chair the dairy foods contest for two years, as well as coordinate the Ag Tech contest at UWRF, which hosts approximately 1000 students for 18 different contests every spring and Minnesota Region 8 contests in the fall. I loved giving students the opportunity to show off their knowledge ranging from agriculture mechanics to floriculture to wildlife through contests.

 

Saturday morning we loaded up the van and headed to the regional CDE contests. We had four teams competing – dairy cattle evaluation, dairy foods, horse evaluation and poultry. This was my first official trip with FFA members and I was excited to experience contests from an advisor’s standpoint. The morning was full of cool moments like listening to the poultry team members study all the way to contest, helping with the agronomy contest and talking with other ag teachers. April Fool’s Day came a day late as one of my fellow student teachers was able to pull off a couple pranks on a few of us unsuspecting friends. J

 

Saturday night I was able to spend some time with two of my very good friends and fellow student teachers sharing stories from the trenches. I feel so lucky to have such a great support system and to have that reminder that we’re not in this experience alone. It felt so nice to share observations about teaching with people that understood exactly where you are coming from.

 

As of last week, most of the UWRF student teachers have reached the half-way mark of our experience. It’s crazy how fast everything has gone and to realize how much I’ve grown over the past 9 weeks. The three of us commented on how we feel like we’re hitting our stride – we still have a lot of work to do, but it’s starting to feel more comfortable. We’re also looking toward the future as we start applying for positions and thinking about the balance between teaching and our personal lives.

 

One of the biggest reminders I need? That everybody has their ups and downs and nobody is perfect their first year out. In ag education we are so blessed with FANTASTIC teachers, but sometimes I forget that those teachers struggled a bit in those first few years and serve as great mentors for us that are still a little green behind the ears.

 

It’s that camaraderie between ag teachers, both young and old, that I love so much. I definitely enjoy my time in classroom engaging students, but the great support system and special bonds between those of us in the ag education family is simply amazing.

 

 

Kellie Claflin

By choice or chance?

Posted by Kellie Claflin Mar 24, 2011

“I am an agriculture educator by chance, not choice.” –the Ag Teacher's Creed

 

When someone asks what I’m passionate about, it’s a simple answer. Agricultural education. Over the past couple months, I’ve been reflecting about why I chose to become an agriculture teacher. It goes back to sixth grade when we were given our choices for elective classes when we moved into the middle school. I remember picking Ag Science 3, which was a horticulture class. From there I fell in love with the fact that we were applying science concepts real-life and getting great hands-on experiences. I owe a lot to my own ag teacher, Mr. Boettcher, for providing great opportunities and being a supporter throughout my high school and college years. I feel like I’ve made a great choice!

 

As I write this (how I love technology!), I’m riding in a car on my way to River Falls for a meeting with fellow student teachers tomorrow on campus. A fellow student teacher and I came up with the following list of why we love coming to school every day and being involved in agricultural education. Check it out!

 

  • Seeing the lightbulb go on in their heads. Being able to see them make the connection and meet the objectives that you set. It’s even better to see them go a level further and use those higher-order thinking skills!
  • There’s never a dull moment. It’s an action-packed day from the moment you step in the classroom to the time you leave. Whether it’s helping FFA members get ready for a contest, planning lessons, running to get supplies or a funny moment in class, there’s always something that keeps you on your toes.
  • There are benefits to the classes you teach. Like having to taste test the projects in food science or spend time out in the greenhouse at the end of the day.
  • It’s an enjoyable to make a difference in a student’s life. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you were able to influence even just one student in a positive fashion.
  • Challenging their thoughts and getting them thinking and incorporating different learning activities to help students understand the concepts.
  • Having students open to you, whether it’s telling you about their day or about something in their life that relates to the content that you’re teaching.
  • The wide range of content areas – being able to experience everything from floriculture to food science to ag business. So cool!
  • Have to be quick on your feet because not everything goes as planned, whether it be technology, weather or
  • The people that you meet in Ag Ed are amazing. It’s such a great network! I met my best friends through Ag Ed and love knowing there are a great bunch of people that will support us new teachers as we continue our journey.
  • Every day is a new challenge.
  • The best part? Going to school each day and knowing that I wouldn’t want to be any other place in the world.

 

Kellie Claflin

Life is good

Posted by Kellie Claflin Feb 28, 2011

?"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it." -Groucho Marx

 

I’m hitting the point in the semester that I’m realizing I’m tired. Who would’ve thought student teaching would be so exhausting and I feel like I’m not even doing as much as I could! The fabulous thing part is that I am absolutely loving my experience. Even when things don’t go quite as well as I would like them to, I reflect and strive to do better the next time.

 

And things definitely don’t always turn out the way you want. It doesn’t matter if it’s students, administration, parents, animals, technology, your hair… you get the point. J The main thing is to not be reactive. I remember in middle school taking a class based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and shaking up pop bottles and opening them to demonstrate a reactive personality. With all the things that go on in the day of a life of an ag teacher, there is no time to be reactive. You simply have to go with the flow. Learn from each experience, have a good laugh and move on.

 

This morning when I woke up I was uncharacteristically happy and excited for the day. Not normal for a Monday. Also, the gloomy winter weather had been wearing down on me and I hadn’t been finding too many positive things to think about over the weekend. J But it was sunny, there were good tunes playing and a good dose of coffee. What else does one need, right? Once I got to school, my positive attitude paid off. I had one of the best days in the classroom to date. In vet science, students researched background information and pros and cons on spaying and neutering. They then presented the information to their classmates. They will then use the information to write a letter to a friend to persuade them to spay/neuter their pet. Not only did I feel comfortable with the class, but more than one student said that they learned something! Who would’ve thought? J

 

Life is good. Be happy.

Kellie Claflin

Pizzas, Dogs and Dairy

Posted by Kellie Claflin Feb 20, 2011

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Teddy Roosevelt

 

 

It's so hard for me to believe that I've been student teaching for 4 weeks already! As time has progressed I've realized how true the above quote is. I go to school each day and while it certainly is challenging - I absolutely love it! There is nothing else that I can imagine myself doing, which is a great feeling.

 

 

The first three weeks of student teaching I started each day at the middle school and was able to teach for two weeks. From animal science, ag careers and food science I had an absolute blast. I never realized how much I would enjoy teaching middle school. They have so much energy! Their energy does come in useful, especially when making homemade butter and ice cream.

 

Not that the high schoolers don't have energy. They do! But it just shows itself in different ways. For instance, my horticulture class' new favorite game is "let's ask Ms. Claflin as many questions as we can to distract her". I'm pretty good about staying on task, but still trying to figure out the perfect way to handle the questions. Some of my favorites from this week...

  • "Ms. Claflin, you have a ring on your finger, are you married?" (apparently didn't notice that the ring was on my middle finger of my right hand)
  • "Ms. Claflin, do you think winter is over yet?" (My response - "It's Wisconsin, you should know better than to think winter is over in February")
  • "Ms. Claflin, when I'm older than you can I call you by your first name?" ("Um, I know my math isn't that great, but even if that was possible, you still have to call me Ms. Claflin")

 

Every day is different and has it's own sort of excitement, which is one of my favorite things about ag education! Which leads me to the title of this blog post (and my highlights of the week)...

 

 

After school on Monday, the FFA chapter set up shop in the cafeteria to make take and bake pizzas as a fundraiser. It was my first true FFA event and was a great way to see the members in action! It was amazing to see the FFA members from seventh graders to seniors work together to make over 500 pizzas, which received great reviews!

 

 

In addition to the horticulture class that I am intern teaching, I also started teaching vet science two weeks ago. On Thursday and Friday, students in vet science brought in five dogs to complete physical exams on. Not only did it bring some extra excitement into class, but also was a great way for the students to get hands-on experience with the material they learned in class.

 

 

I started observing the food science class this week which was great as they were finishing up their dairy unit. They made ice cream, cheese and yogurt this week and it was great to see to see the students' reactions to their creations and how they apply their knowledge of science to their food.

 

 

I'm just living the life.

It's been a pretty good transition from college student to student teacher and moving from one side of Wisconsin to the other. I looked forward to student teaching with a lot of excitement, but also with anticipation. On Monday I started my official adventure in the classroom as a student teacher/intern. I?m pretty excited for what the semester holds as everything is going well so far.

 

 

The class "Greenhouse, Plants and Flowers" that I'm teaching by myself has been a good experience. I even survived my first observation by my supervisor with the university. As pre-service teachers, we are constantly reminded on the importance of reflection to improve your teaching, but it's also nice to get tips on not only what to improve on, but how to improve. Also, it was a nice to hear about what I was doing well. Sure, I passed all my education and ag classes in college, but I knew I wasn't going to be perfect. Well, I know I have 17 weeks to go, but after week 1 I'm feeling pretty good about my career choice. It's not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

 

 

Things I learned my first week in the classroom:

 

 

·        Be flexible. Like when the entire district network is down and you're without internet. On Tuesday I redid my entire lesson because I couldn't print the documents I needed. Everything turned out and I was pleased with how the lesson went.

 

 

·        Projectors are not my friends.  I'm not sure why, but no matter when I try to use a projector, whether it was in college or now this week student teaching, I can't get them to work to save my life.

 

 

·        While projectors are not my friends, I am very thankful for my fellow student teacher friends. It's nice to be able to share the experience, whether it is a phone call in the middle of the week to check-in or working on lesson plans on a Saturday night.

 

 

·        With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. -Eleanor Roosevelt. It's nice to know that no matter what happened each day, I can reflect and think about how to do better the next time. Plus, as an ag teacher you never know what interesting things are going to happen.

 

The countdown to the start of my student teaching experience is T-minus 1 week. I'm experiencing all the normal feelings and thoughts: anticipation, nervousness, excitement, wondering if I'm crazy, stress, happiness, etc. I'm getting settled into my new apartment and trying to figure out what end is up as I prepare for teaching. I'll be teaching a horticulture class all semester and get to work with vet science and food science classes and a middle school exploratory class.

 

It's been fun going through my old notes and items that I've saved over the years in preparation for actually being in the classroom. It's been a great 4.5 years at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls preparing for being an ag teacher. I've had the time of my life, learned a lot and have some amazing friends that will also be student teaching this spring. It's fun to think about how much we've grown over the years and the fact that we made it this far. Now I'm just hoping that I'll remember everything I learned in college and that everything goes well. Wish me luck!

Kellie Claflin

It's Official!

Posted by Kellie Claflin Dec 14, 2010

Today I received the exciting news that I am going to be officially at Kiel High School next semester to fulfill my student teaching requirement for my agricultural education degree. I'm doing something a little bit unique with my student teaching, as I'm actually considered an "intern". I'll be teaching 1 block class by myself and have been essentially "hired" to teach that class and will be student teaching the rest of the day. As an intern, I went through a slightly different process then most student teachers in Wisconsin go through. As a student teacher you fill out paperwork and include areas that you would like to be placed and then our wonderful faculty members find an ag program that is a good fit for you. As an intern teacher, I went through the full application process a new teacher goes through complete interviews and being approved by the school board. It was definitely a neat experience to see what I'll be facing this spring as I start looking for a teaching job!

 

Now everything is seeming a bit more real. This morning the 10 student teachers at UW-River Falls had our student teacher meeting to find out more about what will be expected of us by the university next semester. Even though I've been at UWRF for 4.5 years, it still seems unbelievable that I'm done with my undergraduate classes and off to student teaching. It's a very surreal experience as I finish out my last week on campus writing papers and getting ready to move.

 

It's both scary and exciting as I prepare to move across the state, getting lessons ready and moving on to the new stage of my life!

Kellie Claflin

Viva Las Vegas!

Posted by Kellie Claflin Dec 2, 2010

This year I was invited to work  the NAAE convention in Vegas and am absolutely loving it. Last year I was able to attend convention in Nashville as a staff member after serving as a communications intern with NAAE. It was a fabulous experience meeting ag teachers from around the nation, attending workshops and seeing the behind-the-scene work of a convention.

 

I've been spending most of my time at the convention registration desk where I have become a professional at making name tags. It's a great chance to see familiar faces and get to know new ones. I'm also looking forward to attending a few workshops, especially as I prepare to go into the classroom as a student teacher! (Aaah!!!)

 

The NAAE Convention staff includes of NAAE student staff and interns who work their butts off during the week! But we also find time to see the sights during our downtime including seeing the fountains in front of the Bellagio, taking a limo ride down the strip and enjoying a free concert featuring the Eli Young Band, Randy Rogers Band and Jack Ingram. I've really enjoyed getting to know my fellow staff members!

 

It's easy to see why attending NAAE convention is such a great event for ag teachers. There are tons of workshops and general sessions recognizing OUTSTANDING teachers and programs to get new ideas for their local programs. It's also fun to watch the relationships that teachers have developed with other teachers over the years - what a better place to network with your peers. Also, you come home with a ton of free resources!

 

Professional development + networking = a good life. Spending a week with the greatest individuals in the world - ag teachers - as well as getting in a little break before life gets really crazy!

Kellie Claflin

Thankful

Posted by Kellie Claflin Nov 21, 2010

I am thankful for many things in life. Near the top of my list are the amazing ag teachers for across the country. I am continuously amazed at the amazing things going on in agriculture classrooms and how much teachers care about not only their students, but also future ag teachers. Over the past four years I've had the opportunity to observe and teach in several area ag programs and have always been welcomed in with open arms.

 

This past week I've been observing at Baldwin-Woodville to meet the field experience requirements for my content area reading class. It's always very refreshing to be able to get back into the classroom. It's so easy for me to get wrapped up in college life (classes, organizations, and work) that I forget what it's like to be in a classroom (and in the hallway during passing time - uff da!). Over the past week I've helped eighth graders learn about FFA, spent time putting up shade cloth in the greenhouse, and observed small animal and intro to ag classes. My highlight was getting to see the second graders come visit the poinsettias they are growing to give to their parents. They were so excited!!! A big thanks to Ms. Kamm for letting me invade her classroom!

 

On Thursday night our Alpha Tau Alpha group at River Falls traveled to New Richmond to visit with Rachel Sauvola and see her brand new classroom! It was fun to see the new facilities including an aquaculture lab, greenhouse, animal learning center, along with a school tour. While we get experience in the classroom through observation hours, it's nice to connect with teachers through organizations like ATA as well. We are able to ask burning questions about teaching and hear about life in the trenches as an ag teacher. Thank you Ms. Sauvola for welcoming UWRF students into your classroom! And thank you to all teachers that help to mentor pre-service teachers - we are all very thankful!!!

 

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My new favorite saying:

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Kellie Claflin

Being me

Posted by Kellie Claflin Nov 10, 2010

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." --Oscar Wilde

 

One of the most important lessons that I've learned in college (and there have been plenty!) is the importance of being myself. In high school it was always a struggle between being who I was and who I thought people wanted me to be. Basically, I'm a girl that is passionate about agricultural education and communicating about the importance of the ag industry. I'm also not one to let opportunity pass me by. I'm a little silly, can be very serious at times and try to fit too many things into my schedule. At UWRF, I've been very lucky to have a group of friends (as well as advisors and staff) that accept me for who I am and push me to be better. They are always good for when I need to relieve stress or need a reality check.

 

That being said, I'll give you a little glimpse into the very exciting life of Kellie Claflin.

 

Monday - I have both a mutual love and hatred for Monday mornings. I've started every Monday this semester by working in our student center on campus from 7:30am to 10am which provides a good chance to get moving early in the morning. At 10 I have class about small groups and problem solving. After class, I had a couple hours free so I took the opportunity to go to the post office and grocery store and do a little studying. It also provided a opportunity for me to prepare for my content area reading class at 2:30 where I was presenting a lesson to my peers about turfgrass. I was a little nervous to present in front of my fellow classmates, but also excited for feedback. The lesson went off without a hitch, with minor technology issues (mainly operator error trying to use a projector ) and my classmates seemed to enjoy a stimulating lesson where they read about classifying turfgrass and used a guided notes page to record their thoughts. Whew! After class it was off to a work meeting, an hour break, then off to my Sigma Alpha meeting. Finally it was time for dinner with some friends and more studying!

 

Tuesday  - Started the day off by studying... did I mention I had an in-class paper and exam? Went to my English class at 9:30am and hopefully did a good job on an in-class paper we had to write. In the two hours before my next class, I managed to stop by the Ag Ed Office on campus and say hi to a few friends, eat lunch and study for my test on leadership at 12:30. My leadership class this semester has been one of my favorites because it has been full of rich information that applies to life, as well as providing really good in-class discussions with students from across the university. After I was done with my test, I headed over to the student center to work for a couple hours, then met with a group about a class project. After that I headed home and started figuring out what I needed to start on first from my to-do list. Luckily, I live with some awesome roommates that provide good comic relief, like random 9pm trips to the grocery store and watching really old country music videos.

 

Wednesday - After enjoying a couple slices of delicious cinnamin-raisin bread (a result of the random 9pm trip to the grocery store), I headed off to my small groups and problem solving class. Today we talked about conflict in groups and how it's not always a bad thing. Definitely a good lesson, no matter where you are in life. Then I worked at the student center and had a work eval before my content reading class. My education classes always get me fired up to get into the classroom, especially when we're learning great strategies to use. Today we discussed the importance of teaching students how to summarize and use graphic organizers. Since class has gotten out, I've been working on catching up on e-mails, organizing my calendar, and getting some homework done.

 

Never a dull moment, but always interesting! I'm trying to cherish this last month before I leave River Falls and go off to student-teach (location still TBD ). Patience is a virtue, right?

Kellie Claflin

Bonds

Posted by Kellie Claflin Oct 14, 2010

As I said in my last post, life is busy! But I'm loving every minute of it! One of my favorite parts of college has been connecting with my friends and classmates in student organizations. Since I was a freshman at UWRF, I have been active in several of these organizations including Dairy Club and Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority. Meetings and club events are a great opportunity to see friends, while having the chance to develop professionally and/or relax and have fun. This has been especially true with the two organizations at UWRF catering to ag education - the Agricultural Education Society and Alpha Tau Alpha.

 

Ag Ed Society was my first chance to meet other people on campus that were as passionate for agriculture and agricultural education as I was. While the focus of the group is Ag Ed, members come from all majors across the university. The group holds bi-weekly meetings, volunteers to help with FFA conferences and contests, presents and judges parliamentary procedure workshops and contests, as well as going bowling and golfing in the Putzke Open. My favorite Ag Ed Society memory was bonding with upperclassmen as a member of the quiz bowl team for the National Collegiate Agricultural Education Conference/ATA Conclave as a freshman and sophomore. Not only was I able to utilize my Ag Ed knowledge (oh, how I love Ag Ed trivia!), but also really get to know other Ag Ed majors who are still good friends and resources. It was an additional plus to come home with both second and first place wins!

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Alpha Tau Alpha is a national professional honorary organization specifically for agricultural education majors. While ATA partners with Ag Ed Society in some events, ATA has a special focus in preparing future educators. We've had great professional development events as the group has traveled to visit classrooms or engaged in great question and answer sessions with current teachers and administrators. As a member I've been able to build on the relationships I started forming as an underclassman and really bond with my fellow Ag Ed majors.

 

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Tonight we welcomed seven new members into our ATA family during ATA initiation. It was a neat experience to hear about why these new members are excited about agricultural education. It was also a good chance for me to reflect on my own reasons, as well as reflecting about the impact that these organizations have had on my life. The biggest impact? The bonds that I have formed with my close friends and fellow Ag Ed majors through the ups and downs of college life.

 

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Good friends nearing the end of our college career and getting ready to continue to the next step - STUDENT TEACHING!

Kellie Claflin

I love fall!

Posted by Kellie Claflin Oct 12, 2010
I absolutely love October and fall weather! My walks to and from campus are filled with beautiful trees, crunchy leaves and crisp fall air. October also means that the school year is in full swing and life is busy, busy, busy! But I just think of it as training for being an ag teacher.

Last night I got back to River Falls after a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to the K-State campus for the North-Central Region of the American Association for Agricultural Education conference. The meeting which brings together university faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to network and present current research about agricultural education. As I prepare to enter the teaching profession, I enjoy learning about new research as it applies to recruiting students into the secondary ag programs, coaching CDE teams and teacher resiliency. It got me really excited to put the theory into practice in the classroom!

 

The trip also had several other highlights. My main highlight was finding Claflin Road that runs through the K-State campus, especially since I don't come across many other references to my last name. I also enjoy seeing other college campuses, so it was fun touring both the academic buildings and campus lab farms. On Sunday afternoon, the conference attendees toured the Konza Prairie, which is one of the last remaining tallgrass prairies and we even experienced bison sightings! To round off the trip, the UW-River Falls group made a trip to Call Hall to experience K-State ice cream. (The cookies and cream flavor is my recommendation!)
As an FFA member I loved traveling and exploring different parts of the United States. I've been lucky that I have been able to continue to travel as a college student. I've been to South Dakota with the UWRF Dairy Club, Nebraska for AAAE meetings and Nashville for NAAE Convention. It's been a great to complement travel to conferences with my classroom learning. And of course, one of my favorite travel experiences is coming up next week - National FFA Convention in Indy!!! I can't wait!
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Kellie Claflin

Waiting to Jump In

Posted by Kellie Claflin Sep 29, 2010
As I start my last semester on campus, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on college and my decision to become an agricultural educator.

For a girl who grew up without one drop of desire of wanting to become a teacher, the times sure have changed. After taking a few middle school ag classes, I decided to combine my interest in communications and agriculture and become an ag journalist. However, as I took more ag classes I started to think about the possibility of becoming an ag teacher. By my senior year, I had made the decision to go to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for agricultural education.

I remember the excitement of starting college four years ago and meeting all the other ag ed majors. I joined Ag Ed Society and got involved with parliamentary procedure workshops and collegiate events at the National FFA Convention. My favorite college class was AGED 120: Orientation to Agricultural Education that I took my first semester of college. It was in that class that I knew that I was in the right place. Not only did I love everything that we learned about, but also met some of my best friends.

Now I'm getting ready to go into the real world and student-teach. I'm both really excited and really scared. Then I remember how my ag teacher and others that I've met over the years have impacted me and feel reassured. My student-teaching application is turned in and now I am just waiting to jump in.

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