I am finishing up my student teaching experience at Greenwood High School in Millerstown, PA. Before I dive right into the meat of this post I wanted to share with you how the student teachers are placed at their cooperating centers. First, we are given a list of about 50 schools that qualify and want to have a student teacher. It is our tasks to visit, send e-mails, research and make phone calls to these schools to narrow it down to the top three centers for us, individually. Finally, you have chosen the top three and you know which one you really, really want to go to at this point. We are done yet, though. Next we have an interview with two professor in the college of Ag, where we must plead our case as to why we should go to our #1 school. Well I begged and I pleaded and I succeeded : ) After spending the last 14 weeks at Greenwood, I am so glad that I practically got down on my hands and knees to get the opportunity to come here. My cooperating teacher has been so helpful and provided me with priceless feedback.
I wanted to share with the NAAE community just why on Earth Greenwood is so AMAZING.
Here are the top 10 reasons why Greenwood's Ag. Ed. department rocks!!!!!
1.) Greenwood's Ag. Ed. department is greatly supported by the administration.
2.) Greenwood S.D. is pretty small, so the community is close and very active in the Ag. Ed. department.
3.) The Ag. Ed. teachers are extraordinary. Just to prove my point ---> Mrs. Krista Pontius, my cooperating teacher : ), just received the Teacher Impact Award. Mr. Mike Clark, the second Ag. Ed. teacher, won the National Agriscience Award.
4.) The students are extremely motivated. I have one student who attends HACC classes all morning and then drives to the H.S. to finish up the last of her high school credits. About 75% of the Ag. Ed. students are involved in an extracurricular sport.
5.) Greenwood lives out the "Living to Serve" line of the FFA motto. The students were so inspired by the community service at National Convention that they organized and held the first Perry County Hunger Banquet.
6.) The teacher's outside of Ag. Ed. are inspiring. I observed one of the biology teachers and to my surprise I was actually understanding what she was talking about! The chemistry teacher allowed me to borrow his equipment for some of my labs and the shop teacher helped me construct a grow house. Everyone is just very supportive of one another.
7.) The FFA chapter attends... well EVERYTHING! The students sign up for every event and Mrs. Pontius and Mr. Clark make it happen!
8.) The Advisory Council is made up of extremely active and wonderful community members, whose sole purpose is to make the educational experience for the students the best.
9.) Greenwood's Ag. Ed. department has two teachers, 312 students, 12 classes taught a day and 103 FFA members. The classes include: Ag. Exploration, Veterinary Science, Animal Bioscience, Science of Food Processing, Senior Agriculture (credited class), Biotechnology and the list goes on.
10.) Mrs. Pontius and Mr. Clark are always striving to be better, whether it is personally or as a department. Example: Technology is the new wave and they are trying to incorporate it as much as they can into their lessons. Greenwood launched a "Bring Your Own Technology" initiative. This year it was only dispersed to ten teachers as a test run. Of course, the Ag. Ed. department volunteered to be a part of the pilot! Mrs. Pontius and Mr. Clark try to stay ahead of the game for their students' success.