This is an article from the August 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.
Pennsylvania State University Center for Professional and Personal Development
2016 NAAE Region VI Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
As we prepare to celebrate the BEST. JOB. EVER. next month, it is important we take time to recognize outstanding agriculture teachers who have dedicated their careers to providing the best educational experiences. One such ag teacher is Carole Fay of Palmyra, Pennsylvania. An agriculture teacher at Penn Manor High School in Millersville for over 30 years, Fay made a lasting impression on countless students by providing them an exceptional education using the three-circle model of instruction.
“The Chinese proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,’ has been my goal for the past 35 years,” said Fay. “As an agriculture teacher at Penn Manor for 30 plus years, I taught students how to ‘fish’ by teaching them skills they can use in a life-sustaining career and as members of their communities.”
Fay is now retired from the traditional classroom setting, but continues to make an impact in agricultural education for the state of Pennsylvania. As the SAE Specialist for Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Professional and Personal Development, Fay works with students and teachers to develop SAE projects and programs – yet another way to teach students “how to fish.” As part of this endeavor, she has created a student and teacher guide to using the AET recordkeeping system, so students and teachers alike can optimize experiential learning in agricultural education.
Fay believes the experiential learning component of the three-circle model is an essential tool in teaching students those valuable and marketable life skills they will need for the rest of their lives. You could call it the “Fishing 101” component. Experiential learning provides students with the opportunity to not only develop and expand their agricultural interests and pursuits, but it also provides them the chance to grow as young adults, as they expand their knowledge of the real world.
“I am looking forward to the future of SAE in Pennsylvania and continuing to help teachers teach their students how to become ‘fishermen’ and remind them that the size of the ‘fish’ or SAE project is not important,” said Fay. “The important part is that they have been taught the skills to ‘fish’ for themselves.”
Often it is not until our students have graduated and come back to the program to visit that we realize the influence we have had in their lives. Seeing them tackle life’s challenges as young adults and putting those “fishing skills” to work is gratifying because it lets us know that yes, we are making a positive difference in our schools, communities, and ultimately the world. That is a reason to celebrate our careers because we really do have the BEST. JOB. EVER.
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