Wednesday, September 10, 2014

World Wisdom With Weaver: Teachers (Especially Ag!!) Need to Travel!

Happy Wednesday! By now, teachers across the country have returned to the classroom and are knee-deep in learning new names, faces, and learning needs. I bet a few of you even got your beginning-of-year-cold right?!
I've always said that Agriscience Teachers are like no other teacher out there. We work harder, teach harder, go the extra mile with activities, and advise a pretty awesome student organization. We also can be found helping students complete applications, prepare animals for fair, and chaperoning trips across the state and country! It's not an easy job, but it is rewarding.

However, I know that after some time, a teacher will feel burnt out. Because of the demands on our time and our innate desire to give all we can to our students, we end up over-committing, burning the candle at both ends, and running ourselves ragged. That burn out has plagued our profession for years and we constantly discuss ways to retain our young teachers and keep them passionate. Well, I've got the answer (or at least an option)!


Think about almost every Disney movie out there (come on, I know you love Disney as much as I do...):
  • Belle - She wished for "adventure in the great wide somewhere"
  • Pocahontas - She postulated that adventure was "just around the river bend"
  • Peter Pan - He showed Wendy and her brothers Neverland which was "second star to the right and straight on 'til morning"
  • Aladdin - He showed Jasmine a "Whole New World"
What do these all have in common? They didn't just stay at home and they weren't afraid to take that leap of faith! When did we stop listening to the advice Disney movies gave us?! 

Ag. Teachers, international travel is not just a way for you to recharge and shift your perspective; it's also a way to reinvigorate your teaching, re-spark your creativity, and allow you to do something for YOU again. You deserve that!

So, to help you, I've located some opportunities that might interest you. Check them out. You might just have the time of your life and find a new adventure!

#1 - Fullbright Program (@FullbrightPrgrm) is sponsored by the US Department of State and provides funding for students, teachers, scholars, artists and professionals for grad study, research and teaching (K-12). The application for 2015-2016 is LIVE NOW and is due by November 5th. A colleague of mine was accepted into this program and taught for 6 months in South Africa. He came back with the greatest of experiences.

#2 - Marine Education Fellowship brings a select group of educators into the field every year for an 8 day field-science education. This March and April (2015) they will be coordinating programs in Baja and Costa Rica. Check it out!

#3 - AgEd2Korea. In 2014 The University of Florida and Penn State University offered 8 students and 7 full-time agriscience teachers a chance to learn about and spend 4 weeks in Korea. All participants spent time learning about the country before their trip and then immersed themselves in the culture of the country. Check out their BLOG and listen to David Bittner (Agricultural Science Educator at Midd-West HS) discuss his experience on this trip:

#4 - PSU Global TeachAg! Fellowship. Not ready to set sail on the open winds? Well, how about applying for my position? I may be the first, but I hope to not be the last! Take some time off (I'll discuss this more in a future blog) and spend your time working to develop global school-based educational opportunities. I can tell you that just in the few weeks I've been in this new role I have felt so re-energized as a teacher. 

These are just four of the MANY opportunities that exist out there for teachers to travel abroad to learn, teach and grow. You deserve this opportunity to develop as a professional and individual. You've earned this. The annual Citrus Sale will survive without you for one year! 

Do you know of other opportunities that I may have missed?  Well, then please comment on this post and/or contact me @TeamWeaverFever. I look forward to hearing from you and I hope to find out that some of you took my challenge and get to experience these awesome programs.
Until next time (when I will be talking about STUDENT travel).

Agriculturally Yours,

Nicole Weaver
PSU Global Teach Ag! Fellow

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