Well, spring is surely here with very little winter ever showing up. Our school year is just about over and the summer calendar is already full. Hopefully, many of you have made plans to attend our Region II conference in College Station, TX on June 19-22, 2016. Registration and hotel information can be found on the Region II section of the NAAE website at http://www.naae.org/affiliates/regionsIVI/region2.cfm.
As we plan for Region II and selection of our 2016 Award winners, I am reminded of a saying from my uncle, “It takes a poor dog that cannot wag its own tail.” I know it is difficult to complete an award application because you are thinking that there are other teachers much more deserving than you. I have felt the same way. However, you deserve recognition for the tremendous work done that causes your students to excel. We encourage, and at times demand, our students complete their state degree, proficiency award, and/or American degree. We too should complete these awards of recognition because they not only recognize you for your hard work but your school, your community, and your students for their part in the success of your program and career.
Many of the awards are set up for you to nominate another teacher for an award, especially the Teacher Mentor, Lifetime Achievement and/or Outstanding Service. I would encourage you to consider outstanding young members, outstanding teachers and outstanding programs in your state and nominate them as an award winner for your area, district or region; and then assist them in completing the application. I too have been guilty of not applying for some of these awards only to find out there were no applicants in the state. Please do not let this happen with you. Earn the recognition you deserve. I am sure there are many individuals in your life that feel YOU are the BEST teacher in the world.
As a young teacher, I remember receiving the Outstanding Young Member award from my state and remember what a motivating, rewarding time that was. As young members, you now have opportunities such as the Teacher Turn the Key award program and XLR8 award program. These small tokens of recognition can surely make a difference in your teaching career. As my experience grew, I applied for and received the Teacher Mentor award, not only for Louisiana but also for Region II. Man, what an exciting time. All because of what I was just naturally doing as an Agriscience teacher, nothing special – supervising student teachers, assisting new teachers, and assisting with new teacher workshops. In many ways, I am like many of you and did not feel I was good enough for Outstanding Teacher or my program was good enough for Outstanding Secondary Program, but the real reason is that I just did not take the time or commitment to completing the award application.
Therefore, let this be the time and let this be the year that you award yourself for your commitment to Ag Education, NAAE, your school, your community, and most of all your students. You deserve it!! Also, nominate your former Ag teacher or mentor for one of these awards and help them earn the recognition they deserve. May the blessings of spring be upon you all and the fruits of summer fill your lives. And the winner is … YOU!! Will see you in College Station at Region II.
Merci beaucoup, laissez le bon temps rouler!!