A year previously, we were eagerly in the student teaching placement process. Because I had never attended an agricultural program as a high school student, I visited about five different schools to get a feeling for all different types of programs. After a great visitation at Oley Valley and the approval by the Penn State program coordinators, the preparation began very early in the summer of 2013. As the fall semester concluded, we were finally ready to get going in the classroom!
Oley Valley truly has an excellent agricultural program: two incredibly dedicated ag teachers, state-of-the art food science lab, a large greenhouse and FFA: Food For All Garden, and excellent community support. Oley is located in a very historic and fertile farming community in SE Pennsylvania.
The most prominent things I have learned from this experience is the time and life dedication it takes as an ag teacher and FFA advisor to sustain an amazing programs... great ag teachers are superheroes in my book! Secondly, I learned many classroom management techniques, with the strongest being getting to know every student
My favorite experiences during my student teaching weeks was going on trips with the students. From the County Speaking CDE to the County Ag Career Fair to the walk tothe local meat store to the trip to the aquaculture farm, these were the most fun times with the students. ?Students remember experiences, not notes and lectures,? Mr. Deysher, my cooperating teacher, would say often. My favorite lessons were the ones that students could do hands-on activities. Whether it was a walk in the woods for our local ecosystem study, running around the practice field learning about adaptations in the predator-prey relationships, making tofu, or grooming a horse, these are the lessons that the students will most likely remember.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all my mentors within the Penn State program and at Oley Valley High School. Student teaching was a bit of a roller-coaster ride at times, but a lot of professional and personal growth occurred. I am also very thankful for all the open minds and helpfulness towards helping me find my niche in the agricultural
Until next time? WE ARE! - PENN STATE!