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Ka

Stauffer_Final_Reflection

Posted by Ka Apr 22, 2019

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15 Weeks. 6 classes. Over 50 student reached.

 

The past 15 weeks, I have been over 100 miles away from home, in a different state, living with strangers who have become family. The past 15 weeks, I was transformed from a Penn State Nittany Lion to a Boonsboro Warrior. Somehow, I am always drawn to the color blue.

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Throughout my time at Boonsboro High School, I have learned quite a lot not only about mysekf, but also about how Maryland Ag Ed is so different than Pennsylvania Ag Ed and how I can marry thw two strong passions that I have between Ag Education and Special Education.

 

At the beginning of the week, I said goodbye to two of my classes as they began their next unit of instruction with Mrs. Cashell-Martin. As Thursday inched closer, I struggled with finding the right words to say and the right way to say see ya later to the students at Boonsboro High School. As the days grew shorter, I was overjoyed with the amount of support and encouragement from both the students and the staff at Boonsboro High School. The amount of hugs and "I'm going to miss you's" were endless. My life skills students wrote me a card and created a goodbye video for me. The officer team also gave me a gift stocked full of teaching materials that I can use in my future classroom. While many of the students walked away with tears in their eyes, I reminded them that I will be back for the banquet in May and of course, quoted one of my favorite sayings. "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

 

As I drove away from Boonsboro High School on Thursday evening, I was feeling overwhelmed with emotions. I wanted in the worst way to sit in my car and bawl over the lives that I'd gotten to touch and the memories that were made, but then this quote popped into my head. I began to reminisce on all of the memories that were made and think about how many of those memories will be with me for a lifetime and how many more memories I can make with my future students in my own program.

 

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When you ask me why I choose to teach, it's not because I love school because to be honest, I wasn't always the best student, it's solely because I love students and I love playing a role in the lives of students, especially students who may have a rough home life, or need a little bit of extra attention. I believe that all students deserve to have that one teacher who comes out to their sporting events, checks in with them at lunch, makes connections at the door before class begins, and notices when their having a rough day. I long to be that teacher.

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To wrap up my student teaching experience in just one blog post is nearly impossible. But, what I can tell you is that I have had an incredible time connecting with the students at Boonsboro. I have grown as a person, and educator, and a member of society. I have gained valuable content knowledge and teaching strategies. But what's grown the most is my heart and my passion for educating the future generation.

 

I cannot wait to return to Boonsboro in May for the FFA banquet and continue to grow and I dig deeper into the field of education and the content of agriculture. So, as you find yourself having to walk away from something that you love so much, "don't cry because it's over, but smile because it happened."

 

Once a Warrior, always a Warrior.

 

My time at Pequea Valley High School has come to an end. The past 15 weeks have been a journey with student teaching! I had the privilege to work with two amazing teachers, Doug Masser, and Jasmine VanSant. I have learned a ton from them and from the nearly 80 students I interacted with. 

 

I had a lot of fun with student teaching, but it wasn't all games and laughter. It was a lot of work! Every day I would do some sort of planning, grading, or reading all pertaining to student teaching. One of the biggest lessons I learned was the importance of staying organized. My first couple of weeks was a little chaotic because I didn't have a set way of staying organizes, but that quickly changed when I became aware of how you staying organize benefits your students!

Another great I learned was the importance of student rapport! Building those relationships in the first few weeks of you being there is crucial! By having a solid relationship helped me with classroom management and setting expectations. I can honestly say I had no behavior issues with the students and I think much of that is from building student rapport. The one thing I am going to miss most about student teaching is my students! 

 

Student teaching is a time where you get to experiment teaching styles! I was able to figure out what I like and dislike about teaching, and reflected on the type of teacher I would like to be in the future!

 

Student teaching is over, but the experience will last a lifetime!  

Student teaching at Greenwood Middle-High School with Michael Clark and Krista Pontius was truly an honor. Never have I met such dedicated, passionate and down-to earth people. I have learned so much about teaching from them, and the importance of putting you students and community first. I have met so many wonderful people who are equally driven towards student success and I am inspired to go forth and be the best agriculture teacher I can be. 

 

Aside from the lesson planning, the grading and general ins and outs of being a teacher, I have gained valuable experience in internship on being a positive advisor and mentor for my students. In addition to these things, I have learned many other things from Mike and Krista you may never find on a teacher evaluation. Some of my best life lessons from Greenwood-

 

Stop saying you can't, and start saying you will
Teaching is not easy, and not for the faint of heart. I am so fortunate to have had people who invested in me and helped me to grow. When I felt defeated, all I had to do was look at what I could control and start there.

 

It is the duty of the teacher to plant a tree in whose shade you will never sit in
I wasn't ready to say goodbye to my students. I hope to keep in touch with them through the years, but undoubtedly, you may never know the impact you've had on someone that has gone through your classes. You just love them while you have them and hope for the best.

 

You will never learn to lead, if you never learn to follow
Its been said, if you are the brightest person in the room, you need to meet new people. I was fortunate to have learned so much from Mike and Krista during my time at Greenwood. They are leaders in their profession, but you will never convince either one of that! They truly embody the sense of servant leaders who put those they have charge over ahead of themselves. They always lead from behind!

 

Teachers serve so much more than just their school
Mike and Krista never seem to catch a break. They have taught me how to be diligent in effort towards investing in your community. A good chapter is not without wheels. Greenwood's FFA is active in the community and the teachers make it their mission to serve their community beyond the walls of the classroom.

 

See a need, fill a need
If there is ever a job to be done, Mike and Krista are the first to raise their hands. From cooking food for an entire PAAE event, to picking up trash along the highway, to helping Mr. Rupert get his truck out of a ditch. Anytime there is a need, they are there to pitch in. I hope to carry the same drive for service into my professional journey as they do.

 

No Experience is a Bad One
I am someone who likes to stick with what they know. I've learned through my time at Greenwood that failure is an awesome teacher, and that even a bad experience is still experience. Mike and Krista are always willing to try new things, even if it doesn't turn out.

 

If you can't laugh, then what's the sense
We have had tons of those "moments" at Greenwood this year, all in signature Ryan Rupert fashion! We made it though with plenty of laughs, because if you can't laugh in life, then what kind of life are you living? This job can make you almost cry at times, but my hope is that it will always bring more smiles than tears.

 

Always make something better than when you found it
I had an ugly green shirt that I hated because it looked like a 1950s shower curtain to me. It was a pale and faded pistachio green dress shirt I got at a Goodwill store. One day, Krista got me a beautiful green and silver checkered tie that really makes the outfit. I appreciated the gift, but it really hit me. You can look at something and call it ugly, or you can make the best of it and perhaps it will turn out beautiful in the end.

My Final Thoughts on my Student Teaching Experience.

First, I didn't know that it was physically possible for 15 weeks to fly by that fast! I have learned so much in those 15 weeks that its hard to put it all into words.

 

I learned a lot of appreciation for how I want to be as a teacher in my future and also how I don't want to be as a teacher in my future. I learned that not all teaching styles are going to be the same and some teaching styles don't always blend together and that is okay. I gained an appreciation for student relationships and how vitally important that is as a teacher. I found the importance of setting expectations for your students and keeping structure. From this I also learned that students an only handle so many expectations and that some times they just need some extra help.

I didn't realize  how much of an impact the students have made on me. I appreciated what each student brought to the classroom and the importance of each of those dynamic. The student were the best part of my whole experience and with out their support I don't know if I could have had as great of an experience. All of my favorite memories are from watching my students success and grow, not just in the classroom and in their learning but in all aspects of them as a person and things they did outside of the classroom.

 

Student teaching was a whirlwind and I am happy to have the experience under my belt. 

The time has come that my student teaching experience has ended. I will tell you what, I loved every single minute of it. Even though there were some tough times, the students and the people who were there to support me made it all worth it. Whenever I started teaching I thought I was going to have to have a strict reign on my students to be able to have any type of classroom control, but after a week of teaching, I realized that wasn't the case. It is so important to allow your student's personalities to shine through (without being a distraction of course). In the begining, I also had my doubts. I wasn't sure I was suited to be a teacher. However, the more and more I worked at it the better and better I got. I went from having low confidence in myself to be ready to take on the classroom with pride and confidence each and every day. 

I know it's cliche, but it's so true, the best thing about teaching is the students. They all are so unique in their own way and getting to know each and every one of them had been a blast. There were students that would get in trouble in other classes, but I never understood it because for me they were some of my best students.

I am going to miss Juniata Valley so much, I was given so many opportunities there to grow, but it's time for me to move on and grow elsewhere in life. If I could go back and do it all again I would. Only to relive it though because there is basically nothing I would change about my student teaching experience.

If you would like to see my entire journey you can check out the blog I kept throughout my student teaching experience: https://studentsinbloom.blogspot.com/

 

2019_reflections

I had the privilege of student teaching at Dover Area High School under the supervision of Mrs. Alex Barzydlo, Mr. Pete Bowen, and Ms. Britney Marsh. I taught on 90 minute block scheduling and taught multiple units in Large Animal Science, Small Animal Science, and Ag Engine Care. 

 

 

Throughout the experience I planned to exercise and improve my teaching philosophy of relying on the three circle model of agriculture education, the community, cross-curricular collaboration, and real life assessments. The Dover Agriculture Program offered many things to learn from, including SAE visits, multiple state, area, and local FFA opportunities, and three excellent classes that I had the privilege of teaching.

 

 

In my experience, I have found I would encompass all of these items in my teaching philosophy to be surrounded in student rapport. Without student rapport, classroom discipline issues skyrocket. Students that feel connected to your or the material are more willing to work with you, once you have this leverage you can push through for the core three circle model and other influential piece of agriculture education. 

 

 

I am thankful for my students teaching me critical classroom lessons as I journey onto my first year in agriculture education. I am thankful for my cooperating teachers being patient with me and giving me excellent learning opportunities and freedom to learn from my mistakes. I am thankful for my university supervisor for giving me massive amounts of wisdom and advice from your years of experience to help a rookie out. I am thankful for my virtual mentors, who taught me from afar and coached me in a non-bias manner. Overall, I am thankful for student teaching and grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn and grow.

 

 

Check out my experience of student teaching in a week by week playback at nutsandboltzaged.blogspot.com!

Defining the Why

As I walked out the door on Friday I could help but remember that this is the end.  I successfully completed student teaching.  As I drove the hour and a half back to berks county I couldn't help but think to myself a couple of reflective questions.

 

What was the point of student teaching?

"The only source of knowledge is experience." I think the student teaching experience taught me that the most.  The parts of a lesson I undervalued were things that in the beginning I struggled at.  Something that made an impact on me though, was being able to sit there and work on it. We go to college for all those years but we don't get a chance to demonstrate to ourselves teaching till you are teaching seven class periods in a day.  I think I gained experience and that was important.  In college we are told to be "Dewey Learners" but it isn't until student teaching does the concept of Learning by Doing really hit home.

 

What was my goal with student teaching?

I wanted to experience a lot. And with my experience at Cumberland Valley I got to experience a lot.  I saw students spend hours in the department, students practice independently on CDEs and SAEs. I saw students invest time into competitions that I never would have expected.  I also got to learn about different ways to teach which was a great plus as well.  I think my goals were met but not in the way I expected.

 

What is next?

I know there is still a lot I can learn from and I am excited to see where I can go from here.  There are things I know I wasn't the best at and I think that with hard work I will get better and better.  The journey is one chapter and a time and I can't wait to see what is in store for me next.

 

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Selfies with the Student Teacher

Area: Agricultural Mechanics

Lesson Title: "What does total shop safety look like?"

Length of Lesson: One Week

Learning Objectives: Student will be able to:

1) Identify the components of personal protective gear.

2) Identify safety features in the shop.

3) Identify safe usage of equipment in the shop.

4) Label parts of all equipment with emphasis of safety features.

Target Audience: Grades 10th - 12th

Heather Wasson

Final Thoughts

Posted by Heather Wasson Apr 23, 2018
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Dear Ms. Wasson,

 

  Goodbye from us, but hello to a new beginning!

 

Goodbye:

Throughout my last week of student teaching this phrase has been running through my mind. How is it possible that I am already saying goodbye? Fifteen weeks ago I started this journey at Cowanesque Valley High School to student teach in the agricultural department. Now, I have packed the last of my stuff into my Jeep. I am ready to head down to State College for my final week at Penn State University and graduate.

 

During the fifteen weeks of student teaching I was able to meet over 70 amazing students, taught 12 units, and multiple classes. I have had some unforgettable memories with the teachers, administration, staff, students and community. I will not forget the day I turned around from writing on the board and seeing my students eyes full of confusion. I will not forget the pride I had when I was able to place an A on my students paper. I will not forget the messages I received from my student's mother the evening before my last day. Lastly, I will not forget the hugs, gifts, and goodbyes on my last day.

 

Every hug I didn't want to let go. In fact, I never thought Mr. Heyler would stop hugging me. I could not ask for a more knowledgeable, passionate, and understanding cooperative teacher! A piece of my heart will always be in Tioga County because I have family there now. This isn't goodbye, this is see you soon.


New Beginnings:

Shhhh. I know that my students do not read my blog. So, after graduation I am planning on returning to Cowanesque Valley for the remainder of the school year. During this time I will also be applying and interviewing for agricultural teaching positions. I am excited to see what the future holds for me and what students and community I get to impact next!

Advice to the Next Student Teacher:

 

Find Home...
Find a home or make a home wherever you go. Maybe this was easy at Cowanesque Valley but I believe that if you make this experience more than just about meeting a checklist you will succeed at finding a home.

Find Passion...
Find a passion for what you are teaching, who you are teaching, and where you are teaching. I was not a shop fan when I started student teaching; however, Mr. Heyler helped me love the shop! Your students are the drivers behind the classroom content. They will succeed if you are confident to help them. Lastly, go to that local business and buy that maple syrup! You should not be scared to sit alone at the basketball game, or introduce yourself to your community because most people are just as curious about you as you are about them.

Find Trust...
Everyone always questions why at some point throughout their student teaching experience. Trust the process because everything you do and happens is for a reason.


Good Luck!

 

That's a wrap folks!

 

Looking back, I can't believe how fast time as flown by. Merely 15 weeks ago, I entered my classroom as a teacher for the first time. I have learned and grown so much, in more ways then one. I proved my strong will and determination to keep fighting against all odds.

 

Due to my brother's untimely death, I feel like my experience shifted quite dramatically. At least I can say that no one will ever have an experience like mine (hopefully, knock on wood). I will admit I struggled a bit in the beginning, as would any person entering into a strange and new environment. I got more comfortable within a few weeks and I felt like I was starting to really get the hang of it. I really felt like I was starting to connect with my students and get them to start to engage and interact with me.

 

Returning almost 3 weeks after the accident was really hard. But I came back to Northwestern, as this is my dream. I worked very hard to get to where I was and I wasn't about to quit. There were hard days and good days, and all those days in between. With my cohort and friends beside me, I fought with my heart and made it through. Would I say I was at my best? No, but I'd say I gave my best effort with everything I had left to give. I got right back to working with my freshman doing a milk defects lab. Doing a hands on activity with them was reaffirming and helped ease my transition back into the classroom. I honestly felt like I almost had to start all over again, and at an accelerated rate. This was difficult, but necessary to continue in the pursuit of my passion.

 

My student's taught me so many things. I learned that sometimes you just have to discipline. Sometimes your classroom management just isn't enough for certain students. I learned that some student's are capable of great compassion. A few of my student's helped keep a smile on my face everyday, even on one of those bad days. I learned that you might never know who you connected with until your time with them as ended. Yesterday, shortly before the dismissal bell was set to ring, one of my freshman students came to see me. She was one of the "I'm too cool for school" kind of student's. She suffered academically and tended to be disruptive in class. She walks up to me and says "I just wanted to say goodbye before you left", then started to hug me. I was so surprised and caught of guard by this student. I never knew that on a subconscious level I was connecting with her.

 

I will end this blog with two of my favorite inspirational quotes, as I hope I have inspired some of my student's, I will hope they will continue to inspire others. "When the world has you feeling like a weed in the garden, know that someone out there see's you as a wish in field."

 

The time has come... all week I have been avoiding this blog post however, all good things must come to an end. This week marks the end of an era, with the beginning of a new adventure. This week I said “see ya later” to my student teaching experience. These past 15 weeks are more than I could have ever asked for and way more than I could have ever imagined. I have learned more than I thought was possible, grew as an educator, and most importantly I gained some of the best memories. Here’s 15 things I learned in 15 weeks.

 

1. Be willing to adapt. Things rarely go as expected in the classroom. There will always be something that goes wrong it’s inevitable be ready for the impromptu learning opportunities, they usually turn out to be some of best.

 

2. Take every moment to connect with your students. Even if it seems small like sitting with a student on the bus during an FFA event, those moments are important. Those moments remind you of the why for teaching and allow for a greater connection in the classroom.

 

3. Be the mentor you always looked up to. I have always looked up to my agriculture teacher and he is one of the reasons I decided to do this whole teaching thing. Try your best to leave that impact on your own students.

 

4. Look for ways to connect with your cooperating teacher. I was blessed with not one but two of the best cooperating teachers. I continued to connect with them until my last day, most of the time it was over some type of food.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. It’s okay to try something different in the classroom. Trust me your students will thank you for giving them a break from the same old PowerPoint during the day.

 

6. Take time to reflect. Sometimes at the end of the day you want to just go home and relax or in my case take a nap. It’s important to take 10 or 15 minutes at the end of the day to reflect back on how the day went. How could lessons have gone better? Were there any special moments in the day?

 

7. Don’t stress about what went wrong. While looking for ways to improve a lesson are important, also celebrate those moments that went right.

 

8. Celebrate the small wins. I ran into a parent after school and she told me her son had come home talking about how he enjoyed class that day. I took that as a win, I must have done something right for a student to go home and talk about what he learned.

 

9. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. I feared teaching anything in agriculture mechanics because I felt that I didn’t have enough content knowledge. When I let that fear go I had a blast in the shop and it become one of my favorite subjects to teach.

 

10. Be involved in the community. The community is truly key to the success of a program. Some of my favorite lesson were when we had community members come into the classroom.

 

11. Do your best to figure out the work life balance. For me personally I had a lot going on in my life outside of the classroom. For my own sanity I had to figure out the whole balance thing early on and I still struggled from time to time. Most importantly do your best to always give your best in the classroom.

 

12. There’s no better time to take risks. While we often made jokes about it student teaching is the time to take risks because "hey you won’t be there forever if things go wrong." This is the ultimate time to take chances.

 

13. Never say no. Go into everything with an open mind. Similar to the taking risks, it's important to always just go for it.

 

14. Don't compare yourself to others. Coming from a teaching cohort of 11 we were always connecting and collaborating about what was going on at our school. It's sometimes difficult to not compare yourself to others but you are in the place that you are meant to be doing what you were meant to be doing.

 

15. HAVE FUN! Last but certainly not least, student teaching is an awesome experience so have fun with it. Take chances, go boldly, and leave the impact you were sent there to.

 

My list could go on and on... Here are some of my biggest "take aways" form my student teaching experience. I am forever grateful for the Opportunities I have had along the way. I look forward to getting started with my future career. A special Good Luck to the other 10 special individuals who stood along side me on this journey, WE DID IT and We Are!

 

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I've been sitting here the past two days working on wrapping up my assignments and getting ready to head back to Penn State to be with my cohort for the next week and all I can think about is "Wow, how did I actually do all of this in such a short time?!"  If I think back to my very first day in front of my Ag Foundations class, I remember be nervous and anxious and hoping that they wouldn't hate me.  If I think back a short time to Friday which was my last day in front of that same class, I remember be nervous and anxious and hoping that once I leave them and go to my own program, I will do just as well as I did with them.

 

I really enjoyed my time at Selinsgrove Area High School and learned SO much from Mrs. Fry and Mr. Swineford.  I asked them over and over again, "Do I really have to leave?"  I was so happy there and felt so connected to the students, the staff and the community.  Even though it was hard, I knew that I had to leave:

1. Because I had to come back to finish out the semester to get my degree.

2. Mrs. Fry and Mr. Swineford needed to have their classes back to finish out the year.

3. I have to go and find my place in the Ag Ed world with my own program.

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All that being said, I did have an absolute amazing time during my student teaching and feel like I have learn SO much from the students and staff at Selinsgrove.  I have some advice for those who are or think that they want to teach Ag.

 

There is NO such thing as a dumb question!

There is also no such thing as too many questions.  When you are looking for a place to student teach and once you at finally started into your teaching experience, as any and all questions that you think of.  This is a time that you need to learn as much as you can and questions are the best way to do that.  Also if you don't ask questions yourself, how can you expect your students to ask you questions.

 

Take Risks!

Don't ever stay in the safe zone!  As a student teacher, this is the time to takes risks and make mistakes.  If these risks go right, then you have an amazing lesson and if it happens to go not as planned, then you get to learn and grow from it.  My cooperating teacher took a risk on me by allowing me to come teach there and it paid off big time!  I took a risk by agreeing to teach ag mechanics and again it majorly paid off!  I loved that class and now I want to teach at least one mechanics class at whatever program I find myself at.

 

Find a way to connect!

Connect with your students, your cooperating teachers, your school staff and your community.  It will only make your time there easier and more fun!  These are the fun little quirks that make each of the people you work with unique and each of your students an individual.  Find the thing that makes your students them and play that card to your advantage.  A student is much more likely to work with you and do what you ask of them when they know that you care about them.

 

Laugh!

Always find something to laugh at once a day.  This could be by having the joke of the day, by bringing up a funny story or trusty me your students will say and do the craziest things!  And make sure you right the funny, the sad, the bad and the good memories down.  These are the moments that you will wish that you can remember forever so keep a notepad close by to jot down notes.

 

I will never be able to say thank you enough to everyone at Selinsgrove Area High School especially Mrs. Fry and Mr. Swineford!  They agreed to take me on and helped me to learn and grow as an educator!

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Rosalind Cowan

RCowan_2018_REFLECTIONS

Posted by Rosalind Cowan Apr 22, 2018

As I sit back and think about my student teaching experience, I am proud and a little amazed at how much my cohort members and I have accomplished and learned. It seems like just yesterday I was finishing up my final presentation and heading off on Christmas break. Finishing up my last week at Penn Manor was definitely a bittersweet experience. Luckily, Ag Ed is a huge family, so it was not a goodbye - just a "see you soon". Check out my journey on my blog: Grace & Growth

 

Here are the major takeaways/thanks from this experience, as well as some advice for future cohorts!:

 

1. First, I want to thank Dr. Ewing, Dr. Foster, Dr. Curry, and Terra for preparing me to be successful during my student teaching internship. You always challenge me to be my best and work hard to ensure Penn State Teach Ag! is full of purposeful experiences. I'm blessed to have so many people who care about my #TeachAg Journey.

 

2. Next, I'd like to thank Mr. Fellenbaum and Ms. Slates for mentoring me over the past 15 weeks. You continually challenged me to keep growing and learning, and were always willing to give your time to help/answer a question/give advice. You encouraged me to try new things and grow as a teacher in my own way. I appreciate your openness for discussion and the fact that each of you took time to get to know me as a person. I felt right at home throughout the semester, which truly meant a lot to me.

 

3. Rapport with students makes all the difference. I enjoyed getting to know all of my students this semester and maligning connections with them. Each class and each student is different, so developing that rapport with everyone is essential for classroom management. It makes teaching way more fun, too. I can't imagine teaching a group of students day after day if I didn't know them.

 

4. Planning is essential. To any future student teacher reading this: plan your lessons ahead of time. That way, you can just put your completed, printed out lesson plans in your binder at the end of each day and at the end of the semester, you'll be good to go! It also helps ensure that you're bringing your best to your students each day! Also, there is no need to stay up late every single night. It will wear you down - take care of yourself!

 

5. Student teaching is A LOT of work, but if you give it your all it will totally be worth it! You're only a student teacher once, so this is your chance to maximize your time and be involved as much as possible! Try new things - now is a perfect time to make mistakes!

 

6. Communicate with your cooperating teachers. It will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that expectations are being met. It's also probably the only time you'll have an experienced mentor right there with you - so ask questions and ask for feedback!

 

The Penn Manor Ag Ed program was a great fit for me as a student teacher. I'm leaving confident that I have the skills I need to be a successful Ag Ed Teacher, and that I have two awesome mentors only a text/email away if (more like when) I have questions/need help. Thank you once again to the Penn Manor community, my students, and cooperating teachers for helping make this experience one that I will always remember with fondness.

 

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Above Left: My Intro to AFNR Students after installing a rain garden!

Above Right: Manor FFA Students at the Manor FFA Car show, which benefits the Central PA Food Bank!

Although my student teaching is over, I'm counting myself really blessed to have had this opportunity to have served the students at Derry Area High School for the last 60+ days. Additionally, I am blessed to have had the privilege of working alongside of two amazing mentors, Mrs. Rippole and Mr. Campbell.


It upsets me that this experience has ended, and my days with my students at Derry are over. However, I am feeling relieved because I made it. I made it through the most challenging and testing semesters of them all. I feel like I have finally made it to the top of Mt. Everest!

This student teaching internship has taught me an immense amount of lessons in 15 short weeks. Here are my TOP 5 lessons from this experience that I believe are important to remember:

 

  1. Be Passionate … Passion drives learning. It's the why we're doing what we're doing; the where we're going, where we've been conversations that help establish rapport and aid in student success and motivation. Do not shy away from sharing your FFA or Ag related experiences.
  2. Be Purposeful … Along with passion, make sure that learning is purposeful. Always hit the ‘why’ in your lesson. Additionally, build curiosity and wonder! The experiential learning that uniquely happens in the agriculture education classroom is so powerful and helps add to this continual learning.
  3. Be Prepared … Be prepared to have long nights and very early mornings. The diversity of this job is crazy. Additionally, be prepared for the unknown. Although you can plan for multiple different outcomes, know that it will not always go as planned. Flexibility and adaptability are key to success (& deep breathing).
  4. Be Inclusive….Every student deserves a champion. Every single one, regardless of their background, regardless of their ability level. As my cooperating teacher shared, “When you graduate with a degree in education, you also graduate with a minor in cheerleading.”
  5. Be Innovative … Technology integration is important and is changing the way that we can deliver content. Sometimes it doesn't work, and sometimes students don't want to utilize it. However, do not shy away from utilizing new innovative technology in the classroom because you are preparing your students to be 21st century contributing members of society.

 

I obviously have learned much more than just five things. This has been the most challenging, growing, and amazing semester. However, if this semester could have taught me one thing, it would be that I am ready to start my journey as an Agriculture Educator. As I mentioned before, there were plenty of days in this journey where I questioned if I really had what it takes to serve students as their agriculture educator. Some days I left Derry exhausted and overwhelmed, but most days I left smiling because I love what I do. It is true when they say, when you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. This profession and all the things that come with it are completely WORTH IT!

 

Overall, I really do consider myself blessed to have had this opportunity to watch and contribute to my students' growth and success. Additionally, I count myself privileged to be joining a profession with a nationwide network of passionate agriculture educators to help provide mentorship along the way.

 

Learn more about my 15 weeks at Derry Area High School through my blog: http://rootedinagriculture.blogspot.com/

Please follow the link to my blog! This post is intended to increase your feelings of confidence as YOU enter student teaching.

 

Inches to Acres: Teaching to Grow: My Advice to the Next Student Teacher

 

If you enjoy the post, subscribe to my blog!

 

-Angela Becker

Twitter: @BeckerAngelaM

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