This is an article from the September 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.
Summer is over and the school bells are once again ringing, as students file off of the school buses and you pour your third cup of coffee. Although the daylight hours are getting shorter and staff meetings and lunchroom duties are back, it is a wonderful time of year to show your students and administrators what you learned over the summer!
For many, CASE Institutes were the highlight of your professional development over the break. Whether you traveled across the country, or you attended an institute practically in your own backyard; the knowledge and skills you gained from your time with CASE will surely be reflected in your students’ interest and level of engagement, and in the enhancement of STEM concepts in agriculture this school year.
Elizabeth Pack, agriculture teacher at Asheboro High School in Asheboro, North Carolina, can attest to the profound impact CASE has had on her agriculture program.
“CASE has a brought a true hands-on approach to my classroom,” said Pack. “It has helped change how I teach Natural Resources. CASE creates a platform that gives students a structure to follow. They understand what they are doing and why they are learning what they are learning.”
Pack attended the CASE Environmental Science Issues (ESI) Institute this summer. The knowledge she gained not only helped her revitalize her curriculum, but also allowed her to showcase the science in agriculture to her entire school by using a pyranometer during the recent solar eclipse. Since ESI is primarily research-based, this real-life experience was a very unique learning opportunity for her students.
“I love watching the light bulb go off when they understand what they are learning,” added Pack. “CASE is the best professional development opportunity I have ever had and I really appreciate our CTE department for allowing me to have this opportunity. I love the training I have received and the curriculum I now have access to.”
Rylyn Small, a first-year agriculture teacher at East Prairie High School, in East Prairie, Missouri, also had a unique opportunity with CASE this summer. Small was able to attend the CASE Pre-service Principles of Agricultural Sciences - Animal Institute this summer. As a recent graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Small decided to attend the institute as a means to kick-start his teaching career.
“With CASE, you do not have to worry about developing curriculum,” said Small. “As a new teacher, I can focus more on teaching strategies and differentiation, rather than developing content.”
Being from the crop production area of Missouri, Small’s students are not as experienced with production livestock. By attending the ASA Institute, Small is better equipped to teach his students about animal science and help them build knowledge and skills that will allow them to explore areas of agriculture that are less familiar.
“CASE takes a lot of stress off of your first year,” added Small. “Classroom instruction, leadership, and experiential learning are all important to ag education. By using CASE, you can enhance the three-circle model in all areas of your agriculture program.”
CASE not only provides professional development for teachers, but it also creates a unique and individualized learning environment for students. CASE teachers are able to focus on their students and make sure they are reaching their learning targets. We all want our students to achieve to their fullest potential, and CASE is a great example of how this can be accomplished.
Now that school is back in session, don’t be afraid to show off the awesome professional development opportunities you experienced this summer. Share with your students, fellow teachers, administrators, and anyone else you know about the endless opportunities there are in agricultural education to grow personally and professionally.
And don’t forget to stay up-to-date with the 2018 CASE Institute offerings by checking out the CASE website.