Thursday, November 16, 2017

Penn State's 2017 NAAE Upper Division Scholarship Winners

Angela Becker
22 students from across the United States had received the Upper Division Scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). Their efforts in academic performance, leadership, service, and passion to become an agricultural educator has allowed them to qualify for this scholarship. Penn State has three students that were selected to receive this scholarship Angela Becker, Allyson Balmer, and Rosalind Cowan. Each of them will receive $1,500 to offset their expenses during their student teaching experience this spring.

Allyson Balmer
Rosalind Cowan
Angela will be student teaching at Manheim Central High School in Manheim, PA, and she plans to use the scholarship to help with finances including teaching supplies and rent for her apartment. Allyson plans to use the scholarship for living expenses and supplies as well while she is student teaching at Tri-Valley High School in Hegins, PA. Rosalind will be student teaching at Penn Manor High School in Millersville, PA, and she plans to use the scholarship to offset living expenses during her student teaching experience.

The funding for this scholarship came from Growth Energy, National Geographic Learning | Delmar Cengage Learning, and donations from Herman and Bobbie Wilson. Growth Energy as stated in their mission statement, "represents the producers and supporters of ethanol, who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being, and create a healthier environment for all Americans now." National Geographic Learning is a part of Cengage Learning and they, "believe that an engaged and motivated learner will be a successful one, and they design our materials with a highly interactive storytelling approach which is a great way to invoke these connections." 

The NAAE is a professional organization in mission to provide advancements to agricultural education, grow agricultural educators, recruit and prepare future agricultural educators that have a passion to teach. They provide their 7,800 members with resources that can be used inside the classroom as well as professional development through conferences and conventions. The mission of the NAAE is, "Professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service."

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!

Luke Kerstetter

Communications Team Member

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

#FirstYearSeries Check-In with #psuaged16 member Mason Tate (@mttate18)

Mason Tate, #psuaged16 member, is currently
teaching at Athens Area School District.
It's great to keep in touch with our past #TeachAgPSU graduates! As part of our #FirstYearSeries, we check in with our recent Teach Ag grads and get to share how their first year of teaching is rolling! 

This week, we're checking in with Mason Tate (@mttate18), a #psuaged16 member and 2016 Penn State graduate. During Mason's time at Penn State, he took full advantage of what the College of Agricultural Sciences has to offer, with membership in Ag Student Council, Collegiate FFA, Alpha Tau Alpha, Agronomy Club, and more. His semester of student teaching took place at Lampeter-Strausberg High School under the guidance of Ms. Holly Oberholtzer. 

Mason was hired in his home school district of Athens, where for the past year he had the opportunity to teach a variety of subjects, including 6th grade Earth Science, and for sections of 7th grade Life Science. When he was first hired, he said, "I find this age group fascinating, and they have an enormous amount of energy. Just like me!”. It seems as though after a year, Mason is still enjoying the same enthusiasm and positive energy! In the beginning of his second year this fall, Mason and his students even kicked off an Ag Club, with 47 interested students in attendance of the first meeting.

Mr. Tate taught agricultural mechanics, among
other topics during his timeat Lampeter-Strausberg.
We asked Mason what hist first year of teaching has taught him, and he detailed lots of small tasks and tricks that you may not necessarily think about until you find yourself with a teaching job. One overarching theme connected much of the acquired wisdom from his first year; be organized and prepared. "I have a monthly calendar on my desk that is filled with events and deadlines. If you think you can keep it all straight in your head you're in for a surprise." He emphasizes on the organizational tools such as lists and sticky notes (which are his best friend!). 

We asked Mr. Tate if he has any advice for those who are currently student teaching, or those who just began their first year. He says, "Prepare. Plan. Ask questions. Set goals. Find something to laugh about each day." One of his most inspiring moments was hearing from his students how much they enjoyed his 7th grade science class.He says that staying positive is an important part of the job. 

We want to give a big thank you to Mr. Tate for his take on the first year on the job, and look forward to following up with him in the future! 

If you would like to read about his student teaching experience, check out his blog!

Other Posts on Mason Tate:

Hired! Teacher Candidate Mason Tate hired at Athens Middle School #psuaged16
Student of the Month: Mason Tate #psuaged16 #teachag
"How do I choose?": A Practical Guide to Selecting Classes for AEE Majors. Part 1 of 3.
#psuaged16 returns: They are CHANGE agents

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.

Hunter Kauffman, Student Blogger
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
College of Agricultural Sciences
Instagram: kauffman_hunter

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Second Year Series: Carly Rippole's (@CarlyJeanBean) Experience

Throughout our lives we find ourselves in the depths of our passion for whatever it is. In that passion we develop our minds to shape and change the future. Agricultural educators are known to have a type of passion to teach and give knowledge so that they can change the minds of our future generation. They help students find their passions and our current educator featured in the blog, Carly Rippole, is one of those educators. She is one of two educators at Derry Area High School in Westmoreland County. Carly is part of the #psuaged15 cohort, and has been teaching for two full years.

In her teaching, Carly has been most inspired by her students when they themselves find their passion. In this case their passion could be for the day or for their future career. She enjoys having students come up to her before or after class to show her something they had found or what they are excited about. "Seeing them love learning and see them get excited about different subjects or topics really helps fuel me and makes my little teacher heart so happy!" There is so much to take in during your first year of teaching, and in the second year often times teachers will change something about their strategy to become more effective. In her second year her strategy of dealing with discipline has been more consistent than her first year. "It is hard to keep track of everything your first year teaching but as you move through the year you find what you need to prioritize in your classroom. That can differ between one class and another."

Agricultural educators often have favorite or most memorable moments about their students. Carly's favorite moment was when several 8th grade students who had earned their Discovery Degree had ran for officer positions and then were placed on the team. Those students had also talked about earning their Chapter Degree. From Carly's two years of educating she has learned something very valuable. She explains, "I am not perfect and there are times when I have to sit back and think, what went wrong and how do I fix it for next time." She has had struggles throughout her two years. Some of her struggles include taking things to heart instead of letting it go, labs falling through, copier jams, and just overall bad days. Carly states, "It can be hard to shake it off and come to school the next day with a clean slate and be ready to go.  I really try to debrief on the way to and from school, that is my time to let it go!" 

One piece of advice that she can give to those who will be starting their first year of educating is that it does get easier. She simple states, "You are more comfortable with your classroom, faculty, families and curriculum. You got all the scary transition stuff out of the way. Relax a little bit and use your time and spend it on things you wanted to get to the previous year." 

We are all excited to see where your career will take you, and how you will use your passion to help students find theirs! 

Luke Kerstetter

Communications Team Member

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher