Today is Teach Ag Thursday! What’s that? It’s a day that the Teach Ag Campaign tries to encourage agricultural education teachers to share about the joys (and realities?) of the profession. So, I haven’t even done my daily unwind with my Facebook check, but I decided to write a quick post about what today entailed.
Before school starts: Yippee! I start my day with a Boston Creme and note in my mailbox from the media specialist since she knew the beginning of my week had been less than stellar. Then my FFA members coming in to drop off their silk arrangements or arrangement components. Of course, I am in the classroom next door to my “normal room” because someone else teaches the first two classes in there but they are in a different location today meaning the room is without an adult. That means members come to where I am, ask me to open the door to the other room, where they should put their arrangement, etc. and I escort them over. Thank goodness my student teacher is greeting 7th graders in the room we start in.
Period 1-2: Just a “normal” 7th grade Ag lesson on seed parts and germination that I get to watch my student teacher conduct. Add some thoughts to the rolling weekly discussion topics Evernote file regarding the student teacher. Email myself all the iPad evernote files from formative observations and weekly meetings so I can print them out and student teacher can have them for her files.
Period 3-4: Time to whip out the Summative Evaluation form and this time observe my student teacher present the same thing she did last period, but this time I complete a form rating her and providing feedback.
Period 5-6: Prep! Clean up in the room we start the day in. Move to room that is “my room.” Set up for AFNR. Go up front and sign out so we can go to the Burlington County Soil Conservation Office with some posters to enter in their “Dig Deeper” contest. Get an accidental tour of the building as we don’t know where to go. Encourage student teacher to pick up resources that might help her.
Period 7: Oops! Got back to school a little late. Good thing it is only our lunch we are cutting into. Time to kick back for 26 minutes and chat with colleagues.
Period 8-9: Deal with an upset student who can’t go to Hort Expo because her grades don’t warrant being out of school. Then time for a CASE AFNR Water Run-off/ Topography lab. Teach class, run lab, give reminders about tomorrow and Monday. Clean up and set up again for next period.
Period 10-11: Student teacher teaches what I did in 10-11. This time I keep an ear out to the classroom while she teaches. Printing the things I emailed myself Period 1-2. Processing the emails that have come in so far today – concerns about Hort Expo participant, info about Hort Expo, choice students, attendance issues, report from observation earlier in the week, etc. Looking through CASE AFNR resources to save Unit 6 to student teacher USB.
Periods 12-13 and 14-15: Relocate to media center where we are doing a wildlife project. Pretty much student teacher and media specialist are handling it. This gives me time to finalize sub plans for tomorrow’s Hort Expo, get Hort Expo day schedule typed for distribution, print and write comments on CASE AFNR 6.4 resources for student teacher, keep an eye on the class.
Period 16-17: Last period of the day! Resource – show student teacher how to set up, verify and check sub folder and where to put it. Check mailbox. Go to back faculty room, which is where student teacher and I work this period because we are evicted from “normal classroom” so someone else can teach there. Entered some grades for missed work. Remember to email colleague about bulletin board. Discuss student teacher’s mid-term evaluation, (Yes, I completed it last week. We just haven’t had time to sit and discuss.) today’s observation from the 3-4 class, plus hold our weekly meeting of strengths, things to improve, and things to think about for the week ahead. We’re out of time! It’s the bell.
End of day: FFA members are coming to finish flower arrangements. Pretty much this is insanity. Check their teacher permission forms and inquire about quizzes they are missing and other comments seen. Give feedback and make suggestions related to designs, sit in one-on-one conferences to create price sheets, get price sheets typed up, printed and attached to arrangements, make sure students are getting on buses on time or catching rides. Get asked by custodian if we are ever leaving and WHEN will this event be over, the moss and grass are driving him crazy. Set up all white boards so they are “sub ready” when we are out. Make sure clipboard has permission slips, attendee list, Hort Expo schedules and info. Set aside work for students who will be with me. Try to call a parent that sent an email saying he doesn’t understand his son’s assignment and I need to call. Can’t dial out. Write email explaining everything that should clear up assignment for student who has already had extensive one-on-one help with both student teacher and me. Eventually leave.
Drive home: Ugh! I never finalized the Sunshine Club Secret Leprechaun info.
Woohoo! Home at last:
Why do I do it? Why do I teach Ag?
I love my members. I love helping them grow. I’m enjoying helping my student teacher challenge herself and see what she can do. It’s a thrill to see students learn about the world about them.
PS – I write this post mainly because I needed to remind myself about the good things in education – my colleagues, my students, my FFA members.