By Eric Tilleman
Well it’s 2020 and most of us have been rolling through semester tests or have started a new semester with new students. Maybe new classes and the realization of the mountain of work you will have over the next couple of months. I know I have started to see the mound of applications from my students keep rising from proficiency applications, state degrees, CDE/LDE papers and just the day to day school work and wonder how we can keep the sanity as a teacher. A few years ago, my mom saw I was getting frustrated and she sent me a cartoon in the mail. It had a dragon picking it’s teeth with the lance of a knight and it said “Remember… No Matter How Hard you work… No matter How right you are… Sometimes the Dragon Wins.” It made me laugh and take a good look at what I could do to mitigate my work load. I am one who is always looking at ways to help improve my teaching method or to find ways to make the ag profession easier for people.
One tool I have found to help me is the tools on Communities of Practice (CoP) where each of the regions have their upcoming information on regional meetings. I know for me the regional meetings as well as NAAE conventions help to rejuvenate my teachers’ batteries with new ideas, cutting edge lessons, beneficial collaboration and renewed love of teaching.
Please take time to be a driving force in the NAAE by volunteering to serve on a committee and take a look at the links to the 7 committees on CoP. Then you can see what the committees will be discussing at the winter virtual meetings and even when their meetings are happening over the next couple of weeks. We are a grassroots organization and the committees play a vital role in the development of our organization. Lastly, there are many lesson plans, worksheets and teacher tips and tricks to help blaze though the second semester. I know I like to add new lessons to each class to make sure I never fall into a rut as a teacher.
As we are taking time to help our students with their applications, I hope you can take time to explore the ag teachers’ programs offered by the NAAE on our website. Many times, we don’t make an effort to get recognition for ourselves for what we have accomplished. Many of you have great ideas or lesson which are awesome but never apply for the Ideas Unlimited award. Please take time and look at those awards on the website under “Member,” and while you are there look at what benefits you are getting for your membership such as Liability Insurance, Hotel Discounts, Discounted home/auto Insurance and more.
Sometimes the Dragon wins, but he doesn’t have to if we take time for ourselves and look at the tools at our disposal. Have a great Spring!!!