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May 2012--Recruiting the Next Generation of Students!

Even as the graduation parties kick into full gear and the ?Pomp and Circumstance March? rings in your head, it?s already time to start thinking about recruiting the students who will fill the seniors? shoes. Agriculture programs offer so many opportunities for every student?you know that; everyone in the ag ed family knows that. Unfortunately not all the students in your school know that so someone has to tell them. The end of the school year is a great time to connect with incoming students and talk about the impact agriculture classes and the FFA can have on their life. This month will provide you with some great ideas to help you get started.

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Check out these great resources on Communities of Practice:

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Upcoming Dates to Remember

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Ideas of the Month

  • Go to where the students are: be a spectator at extracurricular activities, chaperone dances and events, drop in on study hall classes. This shows students you genuinely care about their interests and makes you more visible and approachable.
  • If possible post pictures and classroom projects in school display cases.
  • Host fun events for the FFA chapter and encourage members to ?bring a friend.?
  • Contact parents directly by phone, email or letter highlighting why their child should be in the ag program.
  • Create a wall of fame board that showcases former students and how they are successful now.
  • Let the students tell the story by talking to younger classes and doing interactive events with elementary and middle school students.
  • Post all upcoming events in the classroom and school where they are easily visible.
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Get to Know Your NAAE Member Benefits

The membership benefit feature this month is the opportunity to become a Communities of Practice (CoP) facilitator. Facilitators are the foundation for CoP and ensure posts are answered in a prompt and courteous manner. In addition facilitators provide updated resources and help ag teachers connect to others. Visit CoP today to view the list of communities. If you are interested in facilitating a community contact NAAE Marketing and Communications Coordinator Julie Fritsch.

 

For details about more NAAE benefits and awards, go to NAAE's Membership Benefits page.

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Great Read of the Month


Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

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To View Past New Teacher News, Click Here.

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The National Teach Ag Campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. For more information, visit the Teach Ag website. Funding for the National Teach Ag Campaign is provided by the CHS Foundation and Landmark Nurseries as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE | 300 Garrigus | Lexington, KY 40546 | 859-257-2224

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April 2012—Keeping Students Engaged

The words “students” and “engaged” together can sometimes seem like a far-off fantasyland, especially as the weather turns nicer and the “school's out for summer” anthem blares in everyone’s minds. Even with the formidable obstacles of prom, graduation and senioritis, there are still some ways to keep students from glazing over and checking out. This month will offer some great ideas and strategies to engage students and make the final weeks of school count.

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Check out these great resources on Communities of Practice:

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Upcoming Dates to Remember

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Ideas of the Month

  • When planning lessons make sure you have a mix of passive and active components built-in.
  • When all else fails take a quick walk and have students return to a different seat.
  • Your energy and enthusiasm is often an indicator for their energy and enthusiasm.
  • Bring in experts who are passionate and knowledgeable.
  • Try new things and new activities. Nobody likes doing the same thing day after day.
  • Shake things up; have students use colored pencils to take notes or play charades to review terms.
  • Dress the part. If you are covering a certain time period or topic, try to find clothes or accessories to bring the content to life.
  • Give each student a small dry erase board so they all have to participate when having a discussion.
  • Use real life examples and samples. Nothing is better than having the real thing to touch, smell, taste, see and hear!
  • Sit in a circle for class one day, a square the next and so on. Small changes add interest.
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Get to Know Your NAAE Member Benefits

The membership benefit feature this month is the NAAE Teacher Turn the Key (TTTK) Program. The TTTK scholarship award is designed specifically for agriculture teachers with less than six years of classroom experience. One teacher per state is selected and receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the NAAE Convention to take part in a series of professional development workshops and networking.

 

For details about more NAAE benefits and awards, go to NAAE's Membership Benefits page.

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Meet Your NAAE Leaders

 

danFarrah Lynn Johnson
NAAE President-elect & Agriculture Teacher
Deltona High School
Deltona, FL


Years teaching: Eleven


Biggest benefit of NAAE membership to you: I believe the liability insurance is a huge benefit. I hope I never need it. Also, I see the partnerships and relationships made as a huge benefit. I think we often take for granted that we know teachers in our profession from around our state and across the nation. Other teachers at my school are amazed at the contacts I have and how I know other teachers with specializations in areas I can turn to for assistance.


My Favorite subject is stocks and savings in Ag Sales. I try to help students learn from my mistakes and follow the stock market for two months. We focus on real-world financials and how they can get started.


What do you know now that you wish you would have known as a first year teacher? How to train an officer team to meet my expectations and what we should be doing. The students did not receive much guidance and training from my predecessor, so in I came with these huge goals and expectations. I really struggled with officers my first few years because I needed them to step up, but I didn’t fully understand how to help them realize their roles. Looking back I needed them to take ownership and want the changes I wanted to make. We survived, but I wish I had a better plan in the beginning to make it a better transition.


What is one thing you try to do every day as an ag teacher? Check email. No really I try to call students by name. I can’t tell you how often I hear that some teachers don’t know students’ names. I know I may make a mistake every now and then, but honestly, I try to call at least one student by name every day in each class.


How do you keep students engaged in the classroom? I ask their opinions a lot. I live in a suburban community so I often spend some time on background to help them see “why” we need to learn a certain topic. I also try to pull something from the news every other week and help them realize that some of our conversations and activities are actually happening in the real world.

To View Past New Teacher News, Click Here.

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The National Teach Ag Campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. For more information, visit the Teach Ag website. Funding for the National Teach Ag Campaign is provided by the CHS Foundation and Landmark Nurseries as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE | 300 Garrigus | Lexington, KY 40546 | 859-257-2224

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Why Teach Ag?

It can be easy this time of year to get wrapped up in the chaos that is an agriculture program. It may be hard to remember why you wanted to become an agriculture teacher in the first place. Most agriculture teachers will say the best part of teaching is working with the students. Each student has a unique personality, goals, and a never-ending capacity to make you laugh. In honor of National Teach Ag Day, I hope you will take a moment to celebrate the wonderful job you have, working with students, changing lives, and increasing agricultural literacy for so many people.

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Check out these great articles that highlight the important work that agriculture teachers do everyday.

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Upcoming Dates to Remember

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Get to Know Your NAAE Member Benefits

Being a member of NAAE is rewarding. The membership benefit feature this month is the National Teach Ag Campaign. The National Teach Ag Campaign is an initiative of the National Council, led by NAAE and sponsored by the CHS Foundation and Landmark Nurseries as a special project as the National FFA Foundation. In addition to the free online resources available on the Teach Ag website, NAAE members are eligible for Teach Ag grants and contests. For more on the Teach Ag Campaign visit the website.

 

 

For details about more benefits, go to NAAE's Membership Benefits page.

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Meet Your NAAE Leaders

 

danKen Couture
NAAE President & Agriculture Teacher
Killingly High School
Dayville, CT
Ag Teacher for twenty-three years


Biggest benefit of NAAE membership to you: Professional development and networking with other ag teachers.


Favorite subject to teach: Aquaculture


Favorite CDE? Parliamentary Procedure CDE


What do you know now that you wish you would have known as a first year teacher? How much my career as a teacher would change over the last twenty-three years!


What is one thing you try to do every day as an ag teacher? Laugh and be thankful to be part of a great profession.


Why do you love being an agriculture teacher? I love seeing my students grow and mature over the four years I get to have them. I love learning alongside them.

To View Past New Teacher News, Click Here.

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The National Teach Ag Campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. For more information, visit the Teach Ag website. Funding for the National Teach Ag Campaign is provided by the CHS Foundation and Landmark Nurseries as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE | 300 Garrigus | Lexington, KY 40546 | 859-257-2224

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February 2012—Advisory Committees

If you have an advisory committee, you already know how beneficial they can be. If you don’t, it is time to start thinking about creating one. A quality agriculture program should reflect the needs of the community and the students. The best way to gauge those needs and secure constructive input is to round up an advisory committee. An advisory committee lends visibility to the program, acts as a sounding board, provides a valuable outside perspective, and gives students a connection to potential future employers. In addition, the advisory committee is a necessary component when applying for Perkins funds. This month will provide tips and timely advice on starting and managing an effective advisory committee.

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Useful Posts on Communities of Practice

CoP is the only online collaboration portal for ag teachers. It’s free and simple to use. Check out these related Communities of Practice posts:

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Upcoming Dates to Remember

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Ideas of the Month

  • Have students contact the advisory members for meeting reminders and invitations.

  • You may need to offer multiple meeting times to accommodate attendees’ schedules in order to maximize participation.

  • Create one or two goals to accomplish at each meeting.

  • Provide an outline of the agenda to attendees prior to the meeting so they can prepare and brainstorm ahead of time.

  • Follow up with a summary of the meeting and the next steps that you will be taking.

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Get to Know Your NAAE Member Benefits

Being a member of NAAE is rewarding. The membership benefit feature this month is legislative advocacy. NAAE monitors governmental affairs affecting agricultural education and assists in developing priorities and strategies to effect federal legislation and appropriations. NAAE has representatives on several national organization boards to represent your interests and concerns.

For details and to learn about more benefits, go to NAAE's Membership Benefits page.

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Meet Your NAAE Leaders

 

danMarlene Mensch
Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education (CASE)
Curriculum Director
Dallas, Oregon

 

Years in the position: 3.5 years, former Oregon Agriculture Teacher

 

Biggest benefit of NAAE membership to you: Professional development and growth through networking, NAAE sponsor programs, and workshops.

 

Favorite Food: Mexican

 

Favorite Hobby: Golf

 

What do you wish every ag teacher knew about the CASE curriculum? CASE curriculum doesn’t dictate what you teach, rather it offers hands-on strategies to engage students while incorporating core curriculum. It is how I always wanted to teach, but I never had the time to develop the materials.

 

What is one thing you try to do every day as the CASE Project Manager?Communicate directly with CASE teachers.

 

Do you have any advisory committee tips? Don’t be afraid to change it up, especially if advisory committee membership has been stale for a long period of time. Fresh opinions, especially for new teachers, are important. Agriculture is not stagnant, advisory committees and agriculture programs should not be either!

To View Past New Teacher News, Click Here.

 

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The National Teach Ag Campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. For more information, visit the Teach Ag website. Funding for the National Teach Ag Campaign is provided by the CHS Foundation and Landmark Nurseries as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE | 300 Garrigus | Lexington, KY 40546 | 859-257-2224

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January 2012—Best Advice

A new calendar year always brings with it optimism for the future and a sense of renewal. Many people set resolutions in the New Year. Whatever method of goal setting and program improvement you choose to use this issue of the will be packed full with great advice from other agriculture teachers. Happy New Year and may the best be yet to come!

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Useful Posts on Communities of Practice

Check out these Communities of Practice posts. CoP is the only online collaboration portal for ag teachers.  It’s free and super simple to use.

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Upcoming Dates to Remember

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Ideas of the Month

  • Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people.
  • Never compare your program to other programs. Every program has areas in which they excel and areas that need improvement.
  • Attend professional development conferences and workshops.
  • Join NAAE and your state ag teachers association.
  • Remember inappropriate student behavior is not a personal attack on you.
  • Good kids can make bad decisions, but that doesn’t make them bad kids.
  • You don’t have to grade every assignment.
  • Communicate early and often with parents and administrators when students have discipline issues.
  • Praise positive behavior and actions.
  • Delete unneeded emails immediately.
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Get to Know Your NAAE Member Benefits

 

Being a member of NAAE is rewarding. The membership benefit feature this month is the NAAE News and Views online magazine. This free publication is published six times a year and is packed with information about the ag education profession along with professional development listings and award winner features. It’s easy to get signed up to receive this newsletter; click herefor past editions or here to subscribe.

To find out more about this benefit and more, go to NAAE Membership Benefits.

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Meet Your NAAE Leaders

 

danCurriculum for Agriculture Science Education (CASE) Project Director
Dr. Dan Jansen
Years in the position: three, previously taught high school agriculture

 

Biggest benefit of NAAE membership to you: NAAE membership has allowed me to participate in regional and national meetings and refine my teaching by sharing with experienced agriculture teachers from across the country.  NAAE also has a leadership network that advocates for our profession and shares the story of successful programs.

 

Favorite Hobby: Fishing with my kids.

 

What do you wish every ag teacher knew about the CASE curriculum? I wish every agriculture teacher knew that the CASE materials and professional development would change their professional lives. CASE will make the time teachers spend on day-to-day preparation much more efficient and effective. As a former classroom teacher, it seemed like there was never enough time for me to tackle the goals I wanted to accomplish for my students and program. One feature of CASE is to alleviate some of this time burden for agriculture teachers.

 

What is one thing you try to do every day as the CASE Project Manager? Answer all of my emails! Actually to work with teachers and figure out ways to best utilize CASE in their programs.

 

What is the best piece of advice you could give to an early career teacher? Ask questions and listen carefully. Find the teachers who are doing creative and meaningful things in regards to classroom instruction in your region and ask questions to learn from their experience. Your program is built in the classroom first and foremost. If you have rigorous and meaningful instruction in your classroom every period of every day the rest of the program elements will fall into place. In your professional life you are a teacher first and advisor second.

 

To View Past New Teacher News, Click Here.

 

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The National Teach Ag Campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. For more information, visit the Teach Ag website. Funding for the National Teach Ag Campaign is provided by Landmark Nurseries and the CHS Foundation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, as well as by Delmar Cengage Learning.

Please help us by passing this resource along to any new teachers you may know.

NAAE | 300 Garrigus | Lexington, KY 40546 | 859-257-2224