Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Great Northern Lebanon Experience by Alyshia West

I was blessed to be welcomed to such a wonderful agriculture education family.  Starting at National convention my students were such an open and bubbly group of students.  We found fun educational material together at the career show then had a little “scare” time at the haunted asylum.   Through these experiences I built relationships with my students that were critical for my student teaching experience.

During my time at Northern Lebanon I struggled but I wouldn't have made it if it wasn't for the excellent support of Ms. Oberst and Mrs.Balsbaugh.  Ms.Oberst has 30 years of experience under her belt and Mrs.Balsbaugh is still new in the education field and coming from Penn State her herself, she understood what I was going through.

I gained a lot of experience in the area of animal science and forestry.  But one of the greatest things I learned is that planning is critical and being able to ask for help is necessary.  I also learned that being able to think on your feet and being prepared for the unexpected is needed on a daily basis as an agriculture educator.  e TH

The greatest example from my student teaching experience is from the day of banquet.  The day finally arrived for banquet, we had planned who needed to be where and when to the T.  However, our sow decided to have her piglets, and apparently so did our guinea pig.  This cramped our plans, but we quickly redirected and figured out how to pull together and have a successful banquet.

The Northern Lebanon students always were chipper and bubbly.  They were always willing to try the crazy ideas I cooked up and always had helpful feedback.  These students were such exceptional leaders of this school.  It was very touching to see how close they all were to each other.  If someone was having a bad day, everyone went out of their way to help their peer out, just like a large family.  I am grateful for such an excellent set of students, and that they welcomed me as part of the family from day one.

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

Submitted by:
Alyshia West
2013 Student Teacher
Northern Lebanon High School

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