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Classroom

School

  • Only Ag Teacher
  • AET Online only class doing records
  • Integration of FFA, SAE, and Classroom/Laboratory Learning
  • Appoint animal handlers
  • Collaborate and discus science labs and math lessons with other teachers
  • Engaged English and Economics teachers into speech writing and science fair projects
  • Open door policy – door is always open and teachers are more than welcome to come into to use equipment
  • Welcome students each day at the gym.
  • Attend athletic events.
  • Chaperon snowball dance.
  • Welcome students to visit classroom animals
  • Post highlights of school activities and congratulate students in the hallway
  • Collaborate with other teachers on lessons
  • Landscape inside and outside of school
  • Shared field trips and speakers.

 

I looked at what I do and realized I really am a school based teacher, but I think as an agricultural educator we have to be school based.  What makes us a classroom teacher (three components of Ag Ed), leads us to being a school based teacher.  “Learning to Do” is what our students do within our classroom, “Doing to Learn” is taking what they have learned an applying both within the classroom, but also the school and community.  “Earning to Live” is once again tide to our classroom through record keeping and awards, but is also part of the school and community.  And finally “Living to Serve” is what we hope all people will do because this units all. 

I could always be more involved in the school, but I then question, how I give my family their much needed time. As my children grow, I begin to be pulled in other directions, such as dance, 4-H, etc.  This is a benefit too because I am connecting with younger students, home schoolers, and even other community families.  If anyone has a suggestion on how to get a none-Ag Teacher to serve as an FFA advisor, please share.  As we work with a skeleton staff, I’m to the point I need to bring another advisor on, but I’m not sure how to approach another teacher who is very supportive of the program and chapter. 

Part Two:

Refer back to Dr. Pysyk (page 74) who went out of his way every morning to greet students as they came into the building. After a while other staff members stood outside their classroom doors to greet students as well. Since school is not in session right now, this may be more difficult to implement. However, consider something that you can do to disrupt your routine for the better. How can you connect with students that you may not be doing already? Or what do you currently do to make sure that you connect with your students and set the tone for your classroom/school?

This past year I was assigned hallway duty outside of the gym and cafeteria each morning as students entered.  Most teachers told me they felt sorry for me, but I loved it!  I got to meet so many students and was introduced to students by other students. What really got my attention was how many students knew who I was, but I had never had them in class.  This made me realize they do take notice and the word it out about the crazy ag teacher. 

Strengths-Based Leadership

Posted by Katie Wood Jul 11, 2016

We've looked at the Eight Characteristics of the Innovator's Mindset and where you feel your strengths and places of improvement are. We've also created our shared visions. Now that we know what we want our program and classroom to look like, and where we excel, let's turn to our students.

 

"Unfortunately, we dangle students' interests in front of them like a carrot. We say, 'You can only do what you love when you finish that which you hate.'" (Couros, 124) Couros then goes on to quote Tom Rath. The chances of someone being actively disengaged is 1% when your manager focuses on your strengths. ONE PERCENT. That's a 21% difference than if your manager focuses on your weaknesses! Now think about your students, what if we focused on their strengths? How could that change the educational environment?

 

Obviously, with standards, testing and criteria that has to be met at certain grade levels, we can't completely abandon students' weaknesses, but what can we, as the "managers" of our classrooms, do to avoid the "if you get through this topic you don't like, you can do the topic you do like" mentality? Consider the following questions:

 

1. How can we play on our students' strengths to make their weaknesses stronger?

2. How would you go about finding your students' strengths in the first few days/weeks of school to help throughout the rest of the year?

3. How do we mold learning as a student's "dream job" while they are in school?

 

Reply via an independent blog post, or reply to this post.

Part One:

Reflect on your classroom vs. school teacher mannerisms. Do you think you lean more one way than the other? What do you do to embody a "school teacher" approach? Is there anything that you feel you can do better?

 

I believe that I learn way more when I get to take something that is taught or said and then engaging in that activity.  For example, at conferences I love the workshops that we get to take a lesson that is being brought before us then we get to try that lesson or activity ourselves!  We get to see the faults that may be in our classrooms or how we might have to change things due to constraints of space or time.  I feel that I embody a "school teacher" approach by spreading the word of what I am doing in my classroom when we have PLCs or even when I am doing something that is working sharing that in a mass email.  For example, I have sent an email to my administration and co-staff about this book because I believe that the ideas and concepts in this book is exactly what we have been looking for to make our school that much better and to get our students engaged.  We live in a community where many students don't go to a University or even any post-secondary education, maybe engaging them to see that learning can be exciting and that we are doing things to help them in the future will get them more involved with their learning in high school.  I believe something I could do better is just sitting and talking with other teachers, even at lunch.  My classroom is on the opposite side of everyone else's, so I don't get that face-to-face conversation with teachers other than the PLCs or emails.  

 

Part Two:

Refer back to Dr. Pysyk (page 74) who went out of his way every morning to greet students as they came into the building. After a while other staff members stood outside their classroom doors to greet students as well. Since school is not in session right now, this may be more difficult to implement. However, consider something that you can do to disrupt your routine for the better. How can you connect with students that you may not be doing already? Or what do you currently do to make sure that you connect with your students and set the tone for your classroom/school?

 

I am always looking for ways to better myself and my classroom/school however, the one thing that I have been complimented on and believe I do very well is getting to know the students and know that they are able to come talk to me at anytime is being involved.  I coach, ref volleyball, take tickets at games, help with other extra-curriculars and attend as many community events as possible so students see that I am a normal human being that has the same interests as them.  This summer I got invited to many graduation parties and have made it to almost all of them, I believe I have made an impact on the younger students that are there because they have seen me there and realize that I do care for the students even when they are done with high school.  So if I care that much about them even after, I must care about them during High Schools right?  I also have an open door policy, I have had plenty of preps interrupted by students that have come in and asked for advice or just wanted to chill in my room.  This may make my prepping a little behind or I might have to stay at school a little longer than I wanted but I would rather have that than a student that doesn't feel like they have a voice or that I am there to just teach them curriculum.  I could do a better job at going out into the school during the day, as I said in the previous part I am secluded from the main hallways so standing outside my door doesn't get to many interaction with other students beside my own but I hope to make trips to the other side of school this year so students begin to know who I am.

My Vision

Posted by Lori Christensen Jul 5, 2016

CTE Vision.jpg

Creating a Shared Vision

Posted by Katie Wood Jul 2, 2016

Creating a Shared Vision

 

"The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious." -John Scully

 

You may have noticed that the context of this book leans towards administrators. Thankfully, these topics are still very relevant to the classroom and departmental level. At the beginning of Chapter 7, Couros talks about a recruitment fair that he attended. One of the school districts had a sign that read, "Acme School District... A great place to work." Like Couros mentioned, that tagline doesn't really say much. This week, we are going to look at our own visions. While tackling your school's vision may be too big of an undertaking at the moment, think about your classroom or your department. What is your vision for your classroom or department?

 

This is about your ideal classroom or department. Even though time won't allow for a shared vision with co-workers, administration and students, a great place to start is with your vision and that can lead to a further discussion with others. How can/does your classroom/department benefit from a well thought out and executed vision? Using the attached worksheet, think about your "what ifs." Then consider the 8 Things to Look for in Today's Classroom. Remember, Couros says, "...these 'eight things' aren't meant to be a road map for what classrooms should look like but to spark ideas and innovation of what could be." After considering those eight things (or others that you think are relevant) write out your vision. If you were advertising for your classroom or department what would your sign say at a recruitment fair?

 

Upload your document to the Book Club, and feel free to share your visions on social media if you feel comfortable doing so!

8 Things to Look for in Todays Classroom.jpg

Due to the extreme tardiness of this post, this will not have a set due date, just by the end of the summer. We also feel that the nature of this assignment may need a bit more reflection than a set week's time depending on the depth you would like to pursue.

 

The Classroom teacher vs. the Schoolroom teacher. Couros describes the difference as:

 

"Classroom teachers are those who do great things with their students. School teachers do all of the above. The difference is school teachers consider every student in the school as their own, no matter if that child is in their grade or subject at the time. School teachers see things like supervision as an opportunity, not a chore, because it is a time to connect with other students and get to know them on a different level." (pg. 74)

 

He goes on to describe how school teachers share lesson plans and ideas as well. Personally, I believe that agricultural educators are for the most part school teachers. We wear many hats and tend to be inclined to be involved in the school community at varying levels. We also share ideas/lessons a lot. We even have a whole website dedicated for that sole purpose!

 

This challenge is two parts.

 

Part One:

Reflect on your classroom vs. school teacher mannerisms. Do you think you lean more one way than the other? What do you do to embody a "school teacher" approach? Is there anything that you feel you can do better?

 

Part Two:

Refer back to Dr. Pysyk (page 74) who went out of his way every morning to greet students as they came into the building. After a while other staff members stood outside their classroom doors to greet students as well. Since school is not in session right now, this may be more difficult to implement. However, consider something that you can do to disrupt your routine for the better. How can you connect with students that you may not be doing already? Or what do you currently do to make sure that you connect with your students and set the tone for your classroom/school?

 

Please respond to both parts in a Blog Post. If what you decide to implement as your routine disruption is tangible, we would love to see a picture/video about it here or on social media or both!