1 2 First Previous 20 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2017 11:14 AM by Kristin Witte

    Go the Way Discussion

    Katie Wood Top CoP

      There is only one question for this chapter of the book. In part, because I think there is a lot of build up to "Grow Each Day."


      While you are answering this question now, please keep it mind while reading "Grow Each Day." This question will be asked again during that section to see if your thoughts/actions have changed.


      How must we behave on a daily basis in order to fulfill our vision and achieve our mission?

        • 1. Re: Go the Way Discussion
          Robin McLean Top CoP

          I'm getting the jump on answering this question now as I don't know what my internet service will be like for the next 17 days. I'm headed to Norway and London (pretty sure I'll have it in the hotel in London week 2 but will be in a completely different time zone).


          My mission expressed ""To share my zest for living and passion for agriculture and technology with those I encounter through being a positive role model and mentor." This means that on a daily basis, I need to be mindful of the actions I am taking and putting "out there" whether it be my physical in person self or my social media self. Also, in order to have knowledge about agriculture and technology to share, I need to be demonstrating a growth mindset where I am open to learning new things and exploring tools I am unfamiliar with.


          The short form vision I shared was "Learn Together. Grow Together. Open Eyes." This means that on a daily basis I must be willing to admit my faults and failures. This will show my students that I am learning as well. Often, in my classroom, I will use the statement "This is new to me." or "I haven't tried this before" and follow it with "so help me and your classmates learn as we go." As far as fulfilling the opening eyes component of the vision, it means that I have to be sure to demonstrate advocacy and speaking up to help educate others.

          • 2. Re: Go the Way Discussion
            Jessica Bester Neighbor

            Part of my vision is to be apart of the learning using the 21st Century Learning Technology, as I have grown as an educator I have developed the same idea behind the book we are reading, where "knowing the way" or knowing your content is just part of it.  As the students are being given new technologies and new ideas, we as educators need to be learning with them.  Each new lesson and new technology I have gone to workshops or tried the lessons out myself in order to help the students during their time with them.  Of course, many practice lessons can't predict all the issues that may arise but will give a good start.


            This all helps in completing my mission of preparing the students outside of the classroom and to become thriving members of society.  Being that technology always is changing teaching the students and learning with them, helps them see that I will "Go the Way" with them and being honest that states they will always have to learn new things throughout life after school.

            • 3. Re: Go the Way Discussion
              Lauren Van Allen Neighbor

              In order to accomplish the mission that I have for my program and to fulfill the vision set forth, I believe it is very important to have an “open door policy” within my classroom.  It is my hope that all of the students who enter my classroom with gain, at least, a broad view of the agriculture industry and work to spread the message about the positive image we hope to uphold.  Having real, in-depth conversations with my students, on a daily basis, will give them the tools they need to have these conversations outside the classroom setting.  It is easy to “rant” about the negative things being said about agriculture but I want my students to leave my classroom with the ability to hold civil conversations, explain facts, and represent in a positive manner.  If my daily actions demonstrate this, my students will be better prepared to do the same!

              • 4. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                Anna Lukert Neighbor

                How must we behave on a daily basis in order to fulfill our vision and achieve our mission?

                We must be intentional and positive about everything from how we plan our lessons to reach our students to how we interact with students, teachers and staff in the hallways and throughout the community, really (especially living in a small town!). I think this is particularly challenging when teachers are "burnt out" towards the middle (Christmas break) or end of the school year. I hope to try to plan SOMETHING (not sure what yet, perhaps a book, perhaps a day to myself to relax, refresh and reflect) around those time periods to try to prevent the repercussions of unintentional actions, not just for my students and colleagues, but also for my family. I really enjoyed Mark Scharenbroich's "Nice Bike" talk and would like to make a point of being intentional about being sure to acknowledge, honor and connect with my students this year. I believe that if this happens, then they will naturally be drawn into our classroom mission and vision and as a result will reach levels of understanding and achievement that I could only hope for.

                • 5. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                  Samantha Srp Neighbor

                  In order for my mission and vision to Ben successful, it must be modeled everyday by both myself and my students. Simply posting it in my room or even have every class recite it isn't enough. During class time, practice time, and even day to day occurrences, it should be pointed out how what we are doing directly relates to our mission and vision.

                  I would also charge the students with suggesting additional things we may do to directly achieve it. They may have a

                  more creative (and to them fun) way

                  • 6. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                    Kendra Rieckhoff Neighbor

                    In order to successfully accomplish my mission and vision statements, it takes dedication from myself but also ALL the people involved in the process. On a daily basis teachers deal with very different personalities with students, faculty, and staff. This requires the ability to adapt to the needs of those individuals on a day to day basis. This may mean that we don't reach the lesson that was planned for that day, but in order to accomplish the end goal there has to be a connection with the students in the classroom. I want my students to always know that I care about them and what they need, outside of providing them an education about agriculture. This has been mentioned several times by others in this book club, but students don't care what you know until they know you care. I try to create a culture in my classroom everyday that students feel welcomed and understood, even on the days that they try my patience. We don't always know what our students are going through, and therefore it takes an understanding of each particular student to know what is going to reach them that day.


                    On a daily basis, there should be enthusiasm and encouragement to the students AND other faculty members. Surround yourself with people who build you up and make you a better teacher! I try to do high five Friday (also known as candy Friday) with my students to start their weekend off on the right foot. I also do bellwork at the beginning of each class period. I often incorporate agriculture jokes (typically corny, no pun intended) to give my students a good chuckle, mostly at my expense. I want my students to know that I am human to and that everyday is not a perfect day, but it is your outlook and attitude to those events that show the students what it takes to be successful, in and out of the classroom.

                    I want to push my students. Some of them do not have any self-worth, and I do not allow that to be an excuse in the classroom. I have learned (still learning) that it's okay to push students past their comfort zone, or be on their case to try something new. However, they have to be willing to give something a try and to take advice. This comes from developing the culture I have described above. 


                    Finally, finding time for myself each day to decompress and reset for the next day. It is very easy in this profession to become absorbed in the work, and the students. Each day we have to know when to let go of the day and say, "try again tomorrow". There will always be a challenge, but it's knowing that things take time. I was once told by my college advisor that Rome wasn't built in a day, and the same goes for a classroom/program. Culture is a habit every single day; it does not happen overnight.


                    So each day takes a mindset that I am making a difference, but most importantly that those students are making a difference in me as an educator. Show your students the way, and eventually things will fall into place.

                    • 7. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                      Becky DeShazo Neighbor

                      Review it and do it. 


                      Daily.  One step at a time. 


                      Sorry to be short but that seems to sum it up for me.

                      • 8. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                        Sarah Knight Neighbor

                        We must behave not just as a teacher or mentor but as a student. We must never stop learning or we won't geow as a leader. It is important to learn from our students in and out of the classroom. Just because that is how you've always done it, doesn't mean ot will work for this classroom and/or students.

                        • 9. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                          Nicole Abel Champion

                          How must we behave on a daily basis in order to fulfill our vision and achieve our mission?


                          Be the example.  Both items need to be seen and revisited regularly.  This book club has been very timely for me.  I used this topic for my blog post last month: Walk the Talk.

                          • 10. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                            Nicole Abel Champion

                            I like that last part.  This is new to me, help us learn.  The students like to know that we are experts, but also human like them.  I think there is a balance between being prepared, but also letting the kids have the reins and venture into new territory.  Hope you are enjoying your trip!

                            • 11. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                              Jerry Janisch Neighbor

                              One way to fulfill our vision is to always set high goals for ourselves and for the students.  If the students see that you have high goals and that they are pushed so when they graduate or complete your course, it makes things like entering a post-secondary course a little easy, mission accomplish.  I also like to follow up with the students who have graduated and see if the subject matter that I am covering is relevant to their course. There are times when I had to revise my course, to cover the materials that post-secondary wanted the student to know. I also push myself to learn new things, like technology, which has been a hard in some cases.  But I am not afraid to ask students for help in showing me how to do a task or operate a program or when in doubt, there is always YouTube.  I try to keep pushing myself and the students.  Do not settle for just good enough and try to remember that "there is a method" to madness. 


                              Also as the stress of the year, grading, teaching, FFA projects build up, I keep telling myself, “it is only  a job.”  I have been to a point, where I would have like to walk away from everything, but I keep coming back, because I know that there is a difference I am making in someone life.  May not see it now, but it is there. 

                              • 12. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                                Emily Reed Neighbor

                                How must we behave on a daily basis in order to fulfill our vision and achieve our mission?


                                I think that starting each day with the "each day is a new day" mindset is very helpful! There are lots of stressors to this job that can make our job tough and seem like reaching our mission is impossible. Taking time for ourselves (outside of our classroom and ag building) and being able to refresh to begin each day new is a great thing! Someone above had also mentioned setting the bar high and pushing your students. I think that this is a great idea as well. If we're not constantly setting and (hopefully) achieving our goals for both ourselves and our students, we won't be going anywhere! Students won't tell you this, but I think they liked being pushed to the next level, especially after seeing all of the rewards and benefits of getting out of their comfort zone! When kids realize that it's okay to try new things (and that you're there if you need them) they can accomplish so much. Keeping a positive attitude and mindset will also help with both of these tasks. Being around students and other teachers who want the same things (your students to succeed!) will help everything else fall into place.

                                • 13. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                                  Miranda Locuratolo Neighbor

                                  After reading several post, I complete agree with a common statement, each day is a new day.  This will help me with my vision and mission of being a constant learner.  I have mentioned this before that I had a hard time being vocal when I struggle.  The year I wanted to give up, I think that knowing tomorrow was a new day was the only thing that kept me going, and my awesome students. I even broke it down to, another block is less than 90 minutes away.  That year really proved to me that I really wanted to be a teacher.  I started looking/ focusing on the rewards and that made up for the struggles. This year, I am going to focus on being that constant learner with my students.   I want my students and I to set learning goals based on our competencies.  This will help introduce the class expectations as well as show my students they have a say in their learning.  I am looking forward to seeing how this works, but maybe if I show my students that Agriculture still excited me, it will excite them.

                                  • 14. Re: Go the Way Discussion
                                    Tiffany Hoy Mentor

                                    I realized at the very start of my career that I'm not just a teacher, I'm a role model, parent, mentor, therapist, police officer, guidance counselor and really just a person who my students can depend upon.  What I have most realized is students want structure, want to belong to a group who cares about them for them, not because of what they can get out of the person.  I also know students want to be empowered and when one empowers them, they seem to warp into respectable, motivated, educated individuals who can work together and solve problems, while respecting differences.


                                    So yes, how do I reach my goal - simply by involving those who I want to impact.  Bring them into the vision and mission and have them help me to create and set goals for the statements. 


                                    I will be the first to tell you I'm only human - yes, I make mistakes and learn.  I tell that to my students all the time.  I'm also reasonable and have shown my students that if they can justify and give me a reason why a date or an assignment should be changed or why I should allow the to do something within reason, then I will allow it.  I also listen - sometimes I'm not sure what I'm listening too, but I'm hearing their confusion, pain or even excitement.  I have also empowered my students to be the ag program.  I'm not kidding, if I'm out unexpectedly or on a profession trip - the students manage the lessons and assignments and hold each other accountable - the substitutes now fight to get my classes because they are astonished by this empowerment.  Substitutes used to fear my room (prior to my employment).  Clean and organize - parents ask me all the time how do I get them to do it at the ag program but they cannot get them to do it at home.  I'm don't have the answer, but I remind the students this is their safe place and they need to show the world how safe they feel by keeping it clean, but productive. 


                                    Yes, I am a control freak like most Ag Teachers, but I have learned to let go and be amazed.  Do we fall sometimes, yes and guess what - its a learning moment.  Every moment, every day is a learning moment and I embrace it.  There is always a silver lining - sometimes we have to look really hard to find it, but positive thinking can change a day, a moment, a life.  

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