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.
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.
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.
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!