With the current status of social distancing and being #HealthyAtHome, we are featuring a series about preservice agriculture teachers who are learning to adapt and adjust to a new normal of learning and teaching. This month, we will meet Matt Younker and find out how he is figuring out his "new normal" while staying positive and promoting ag education!
How is your university handling the end of the semester? The remainder of the semester has been converted to an online platform, which is new to all of us at Wilmington, as the college is known for hands-on learning.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted you both personally and professionally? The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to life as we know it. Personally, it has affected my schooling and my job. Professionally, it has caused the Ohio Department of Education to make the difficult decision to cancel the Ohio FFA State Convention – which was to be held April 30 – May 1. It has also led to Ohio State Extension to cancel all 4-H events until July 6th. This affects me professionally, as I volunteer as a 4-H advisor, as well as personally as my family is very involved with Ohio 4-H.
What is something you have learned from the current quarantine that you can apply to your future classroom? I have learned several online-learning techniques that I can utilize in my classroom on days I am required to be absent from school, as well as if a pandemic such as COVID-19 ever happens again in my lifetime.
What are you looking forward to most after the COVID-19 pandemic is over and we can go back to our “normal” lives? After this pandemic is over, I am looking forward to being able to go shopping, out to eat, and to see family as I please.
What advice would you like to give to high school students considering a career in teaching ag to help them stay positive during this time? I saw a post on Facebook relating to high schoolers paying attention to those people whom are still working and deemed “essential” through this pandemic. While it probably does not come to any surprise that agriculture is essential, it is comforting to know that as an agricultural educator we have the opportunity to shape the individuals who will one day be deemed “essential” to society into the people that they are.