Saturday, August 9, 2014

Reflection of Year 1

After a CrAzY spring semester, I am happy to say that I am no longer a 1st year teacher! Although the first year was challenging, I can look back and know that I’ve grown in my ability to develop student potential for success in the classroom, through FFA events, and in their various SAE projects.
Group photo from Mid-Winter Convention
Harrisburg, PA
The spring semester finished with many highlights that required the chapter to pull together and produce some great agricultural programming.

A major highlight was visiting West Virginia on our Educational Spring Trip. With a stop at President Eisenhower’s Farm in Gettsyburg, a tour of West Virginia University’s Agricultural Research Farms, and a little ziplining thrown in there, 27 members got a chance to wind down before Easter and learn more about regional agriculture and post-secondary educational opportunities.
27 students attended the annual Spring Trip. The group posed for a picture
after touring the WVU Research Farm.

Directly after Spring Trip, it was time to get ready for 3 back-to-back events.  The first was the 60th Annual Cumberland Valley FFA Parent/Member banquet. The chapter hosted 250 community members, parents, honorary members, administrators, and supporters to the high school auditorium to enjoy in the accomplishments of the chapter during the past year.

The next event was the 3rd Annual “A-Day: Connecting Communities.”  This event was geared toward bringing community members, agriculturists, and students together to become more aware of the bounty that agriculture provides to each individual every day. The event consisted of free “Ag in the Classroom” activities, a Flower Sale, live music, pony rides, and a hay ride. Over 400 individuals attended even with inclement weather.

The final event of the year was the 2nd annual Feast or Famine Hunger Banquet. To replicate the disbursement of poverty in the world, attendees are asked to dine in the shoes of the poor, middle class, and high class based upon the luck of the draw. Tables are decorated accordingly and the meals are varied based upon the class chosen randomly. Speakers from Heifer International, the Central PA Food Bank, and Project SHARE shared remarks on how individuals can help fight hunger locally and abroad.
Feast or Famine was a great event to raise awareness of food insecurity
and ways that local groups can help to fight hunger in Pennsylvania.

As I’m currently attending a CASE institute, I’m reminded of how it is important to recharge during the summer with a combination of professional development and relaxation (well, maybe next summer?). Agriculture Education is a unique career in education because of the opportunities to continuously talk with other educators that are providing a holistic approach to developing their students. Since we see students in many settings beside the classroom (county fairs, judging contests, CDE practices, overnight leadership conferences), it adds that much motivation to seek out new opportunities to develop oneself as a teacher/mentor/coach to make the upcoming year better than the last.

Cheers to year 2!

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