Have you ever heard the expression “save the best for last”? That is my thinking as we wrap up our celebration of Native American Heritage Month with this Friday Footnote.
Four years ago, I was exploring southern Utah and northern Arizona and visited Monument Valley High School in northern Arizona. Both agriculture teachers were gone for the day, but the high school principal gave me a tour of the agriculture program. I was impressed.
But I am not the only one impressed. In 2015 the lead teacher, Clyde McBride, was recognized by the Association for Career and Technical Education at the CTE Teacher of the Year. And the agricultural education program has even been featured on the PBS NewsHour.
So, instead of writing about the program, let’s employ another adage – a picture is worth a thousand words. This Footnote will consist of two five-minute videos. They are well worth watching.
Video 1 – Monument Valley High School FFA - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hKAMuHb1tM
Video 2 – PBS NewsHour - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/hands-high-school-veterinary-program-enriching-navajo-students
It is the teacher that makes the difference. Many years ago, I took a group of agriculture teachers on a weeklong tour of schools in the southern United States. Every night we had a debriefing seminar. The schools we visited typically had amazing facilities. Our nightly discussions seemed to focus on the facilities.
Toward the end of the week the teachers were muttering that if they had such great facilities, they could have fantastic programs also. Then we stopped at a school in Mississippi that had a tin shed with dirt floors for the Ag shop. The school had an exemplary agricultural education program. Then the “aha” moment – it is the teacher that makes the difference, not the facility.
Yes, Monument Valley High School has great facilities, but it is because of the drive and determination of a pair of agriculture teachers. They truly care for their students, and it shows in the program and in the students. Do you have the drive, determination, and heart to have a truly great agricultural education program?
The Last Friday Footnote until January
This is the last Friday Footnote for 2021. The next Friday Footnote will appear on January 7, 2022. I expect to see many of you this coming week at the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) conference in New Orleans. There will be numerous professional development workshops from which you can benefit. So, you don’t need to spend time reading a Footnote. If you haven’t attended an NAAE convention, I would encourage you to do so in the future.
During the rest of December, there will be a myriad of holiday events and end-of-semester activities that deserve your attention. Also, this is the season to focus on family and friends. Please do so. Come back from the Holiday season refreshed and ready to start a new year. Have a Merry Christmas.