Never Exhaust Your Mind!!!!
As educators we have all heard many quotes related to education and learning for students, and to help each of us to improve our teaching techniques or practices. Almost all of these quotes can apply to each of us in our classrooms or laboratories each day, but have we ever stopped to think of how they apply to us and our continuing education?
Learning really is a lifelong process and we continue to learn each and every day.With the constant changes in the agriculture industry and technology, it is especially important for us to stay current. One of the best ways I have found to do this is with all the excellent professional development that is made possible to us each year. During the summer months, there are multiple opportunities to expand our knowledge and learning with attendance at CASE institutes, industry and university workshops, along with the DuPont AgriScience Academy. However; your professional development can also come from attending state summer conferences or regional conferences and taking advantage of the workshops offered at each of these venues.
If you are working on budgets through your school or other areas, you could also consider budgeting in to attend the NAAE Conference in Las Vegas this year.
Through my 30 plus years of teaching, the professional development I have found that is most relevant and useful to me on a daily basis has been the tricks of the trade I learned in the short one to two-hour workshops offered at my state summer conference, or from the NAAE conferences I have attended. Being taught by and learning from my peers has provided me with a multitude of resources that are only an email away. As I prepare to work on projects or with certain lessons, there are many teachers that I have reached out to and have received assistance from.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that besides the learning and networking that goes on during each of these activities, the greatest benefit is the friendships and contacts that I have made. I cherish each of these and nothing makes me smile more than meeting old friends and making new ones at each one I attend. The agricultural education community truly is a family of its own, and for this I count my blessings each and every day.
I really can't express the gratitude and pride I feel each day that you all have given me as your elected President for NAAE, but I would also say it would not have happened had I not continued to learn by attending professional development opportunities offered at the state, regional and national levels. Have a safe and enjoyable summer and take advantage of all the learning opportunities that time allows for, but mostly take time to rejuvenate yourself and take spend quality time with your family.
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