Thursday, January 30, 2014

Distinguished Alumni Dr. MeeCee Baker

MeeCee Baker
Penn State College of Ag Sciences recently recognized Dr. MeeCee Baker as a Distinguished Alumni of the College. Dr. Baker graduated from Penn State in 1982 in Agricultural Education, which led her to more than twenty years teaching at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, the first female president of NAAE ( National Association of Ag Educators), appointed to executive office at the PA Department of Ag with educational outreach and now is a managing partner and chief operating officer for Versant Strategies. She is also the owner of a cow calf operation in Central Pennsylvania and was a faculty member at Penn State. To receive her award she spent three days on campus attending a banquet and talking to students in classes and open discussions. She went to one of the student teachers classes and shared stories and guidance on how to be a good agricultural teacher. She left the student with 9 trigger words that would help them remember things that are important to a teacher.

 Engage, engage your community and develop that advisory committee that Dr. Ewing talks about.

Communicate, parents, supervisors, school board and anyone else. Call the parents to introduce yourself and tell them when their child does something good. Keep the school board up to date with the happenings in the ag program. She would have her reporter develop a page of what the program had accomplished to hand out at the school board meetings.

Craft Brand. Who do you want to be? What is most important to you? She suggested to watch facebook and to make sure that you are displaying your best face publicly and to think about how you want people to think about you.

Bring ENERGY. It’s contagious, so if you bring it, others will get it!

Introduce Self. Make sure to introduce yourself to the office staff, kitchen, janitors, other teachers, principal, ect. Get a letter of recommendation from principal and superintendent. By being respectful to everyone it gets you respect.

Wait Two Days. If you get mad and just want to yell at someone or send a nasty email, write the letter, but don’t send it for two days. If after those two days you still want to send it, send it. Turn bitter into better.

Raise Profile. Celebrate big ag events and invite representatives and senators to the events. Utilize the extension and make sure to participate in community service.

 Connect. Every day connect with your students, greet them at the door, call on them. Don’t let them be INVISIBLE!

Take/ Accept. Accept every single one of your students. Make your classroom so inclusive that you cannot tell the number one student from number fifty. If you accept students it will also attract new students.

It was very interesting to listen to her nine trigger words and tips for success. It really tied the senior agricultural education classes together and made it possible to see them applied in real life. She shared some of her best moments teaching, and some of her worst with the class which made it more real for the students. As an agricultural educator, there is the ability to change lives and help students grow as individuals.

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!

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

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