FFA Love – Try New Things, Be Creative (aka Career Readiness is more than current mandated tests)


If you thought I was done with the FFA Love blog posts, guess again!  I got a “late comer” today and it was so worth sharing!

“I love FFA because we are always trying new things, learning more, and being creative.”

I absolutely love this sentiment because to me it means I have done my job as an educator.  I have helped at least one student spark a love for trying new things, learning more and being creative.  I believe “college and career readiness” is more than the current round of mandated testing that our students are subjected to.  It is the untestable career skills such as the willingness to be innovative and try new things.  I recently blogged for the Association for Career and Technical Education Educators in Action with a piece called “The Path to Innovation is Full of Mistakes” As a teacher, I try to model this concept of trying new things.  This FFA Love statement tells me I have succeeded.

Career readiness is more than just the writing and math that gets emphasized over and over again on test after test (almost to the point of driving some students away from finding joy in exploring the importance and value of these skills).  It is the desire to learn more and be what some call a “life-long learner.” This love of learning more will be a critical trait for anyone who plans to have a career in the future because we are preparing our students for jobs that don’t even exist yet.  Helping them find joy in learning is vital to prepare them to meet the future we don’t even know.

The fact that “being creative” is part of the reason to love FFA gives me a little thrill, too!  I like to challenge my students to come up with ideas then take the action to carry them through.  I challenge them to sometimes think out of the box.  Isn’t that part of what creativity is?  Being willing to embrace the ability to create (an article, a poster, a display, a visual representation, a video, and the list goes on), is a skill that career ready citizens need!

This FFA Love statement represents what I aspire to help my students do – Try, Learn, Create.

PS – I didn’t start this blog with the intent of getting into the career readiness aspect of what I felt this statement represented, but as I typed, the words just flowed.  I tell my students, “Learning is messy.” Sometimes, it appears that my blogging wanderings are messy  as well. ;)

FFA Love – Wrapping Up the Week

FFA Love Cows Corn Good TIme M

Today is the last “official” day of FFA Week, so I’m wrapping it up by sharing some of the remaining FFA Love signs my middle school FFA members created. (I had to tweak some colors to get their writing to show up.)

Only one student mentioned leadership skills and hers have certainly shone this year.

Love FFA Leadership M

A very popular theme was “friends/ meeting people” and “cool events”

Love FFA More Cool Events M

FFA Love Amazing People

Love FFA Cool Events M

For many of my students, although I make sure they know the value of farmers and production agriculturalists as the critical foundation of our food and fiber system, they embrace FFA because it has broken the stereotype of just being for farmers.  I have students who want to be meteorologists, scientists, actresses, and more.

FFA Love Love M

As a member, parent, alumni, or supporter, why do you love FFA?

FFA Love – Amazing Information

Love FFA Info About Ag and World

This FFA Love represents that second day in a row of the word “amazing” being used.  There must be something to it!

“I become endulged {sic} in amazing information about agriculture and our world today.”

I love this statement because if I look at the word “indulge” it means “to allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure. ” (There’s a part of me that gets the concept of the sentence, but knows there is a language arts flaw.  It’s all good. ;) )

As someone who advocates for agricultural literacy and the relevance of agriculture in society, this statement sums up so much of what I believe in.  I approach the world with wonder and have a passion for finding out the amazing information that  does exist about agriculture.  To see a student mention this as something he loves about FFA brings me great joy.

FFA Love – Meet New People

Love FFA Learn New Ag

Day three of FFA love brings

“I am able to meet new people, and learn new things about Ag!”

Meeting new people or making friends seems to be a fairly common theme in the FFA love signs I have received and I can attest to the power of FFA for meeting people.  As an FFA member, I first got to meet people from around my state and then around the country through active involvement in FFA.  Some of the people I met have become life-long friends and others ex-fiances (I can laugh at that now. :) )

As an agricultural educator and FFA advisor in a world of social media, I continue to meet new people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Sharing ideas with them helps me grow as an FFA advisor and person.

What’s a memory of someone you met through FFA?

FFA Love – Express Myself

Love FFA Express Myself

Day two of the FFA Week shared FFA love statements brings

“I can express myself and have fun while doing! Making new friends along the way!”

For those of you who know me now, you might not realize I entered FFA as a quiet, shy wallflower of a girl.  It was through learning parliamentary procedure and how to make a motion at meetings that I started to speak more.  Then I became a chapter officer and had to speak up more.  Public speaking became an area my advisor encouraged me to pursue and I ended up in the National FFA Extemporaneous Speaking Finals plus to Tri-States (OH, NY and PA) for Prepared Public Speaking.  Through FFA, I gained the skills that allowed me to find ways to express myself.

Those of you that know me today, might see the side of me where I speak up and speak out.  It is through years of experience as an FFA member that I went from being a shy seventh grader to knowing and using the voice I have to express myself.

How do you express yourself?