Wednesday, December 10, 2014

World Wisdom with Weaver - Wrapping It All Up!

Kayla Hack and I at World Food Prize (October)
"Wrapping it all up" - do you see what I did there?!  :) 

Happy December to you all! As 2014 draws to a close and many of us begin the holiday festivities, I know that we can't help but reflect on the year that has unfolded. This has been one of my best, and most challenging years - I had a baby, I took a semester off of teaching, and I took the role of PSU Teach Ag! Fellow while completing my M.Ed.

Last December, I had decided that I wanted to finish my M.Ed. but had no idea how it'd be possible to accomplish this with a baby on the way and no ability to take summers to study at PSU. Then came the idea of the educational leave. My school was so generous to grant me this opportunity and I'm thankful that I was given this chance to improve myself personally and professionally. It's amazing to me how things somehow work out!

The biggest question I ask myself is "would you do it all over again if you had the chance?"and the response would be YES! Now, I was naive about some things - I didn't quite realize the learning curve I had for becoming a mother, which complicated the learning curve I had as a grad student - but I think this experience has made me stronger, more confident in myself as a person and teacher, and has reinvigorated me as an educator. I look forward to returning to the classroom and employing what I've learned to my students.

Through my work, I met amazing people like the coordinators for World Food Prize and the state youth institute coordinators. Amazing people doing amazing work to help our students grow in global competence. Through  my work as a grad student, I hope to bring those same opportunities to more of our Pennsylvania students so they can experience the amazing program that is the World Food Prize and Global Youth Institute.

My wonderful husband, Jesse!
I'm forever a changed person from this experience and I'm so thankful that I was given this opportunity. I wish to thank my professors and mentors at Penn State who guided me through this process and who will push me this spring to finish my research and walk across that stage in May! I also want to thank Twin Valley School District for believing in me enough to let me take off a semester and go "do my thing." It's not everyday that you find yourself working for a district that "gets you" and lets you wander off for a few months! I want to thank my mother, father and sister who traveled to PSU several times to help me take care of my son, and who also were his primary caregivers during my multiple trips! And of course, I'd like to thank my husband and son who were flexible, supportive and overall just wonderful for sacrificing so that I could do this.

Finally, I'd like to thank you, reader, for taking time out of your day to check out my blogs. If you ever want to look back at them, go ahead and CLICK HERE! and you'll find them! I know my mom (in true mom fashion) has kept a printed binder of all my posts, so you could always ask her, too! There are some pretty good little nuggets of ideas and curriculum for incorporating global learning into your classroom. I hope that in the new year you'll employ a few and work towards improving global competency among ourselves as professionals as well as our students.

David wishes you all a Merry Christmas! (photo: CarrieKizuka)
As for this experience, would I recommend it to others? Absolutely! As part of my duties as a fellow, I developed a description of the position so that, while I was the first Global Teach Ag! Fellow, I will hopefully not be the last! This is a remarkable experience and I hope that other Ag. teachers in PA will realize that every so often, we need to take a break to reinvigorate and re-inspire ourselves. It can be daunting to do what we do year in and year out; we work harder than a lot of teachers just by the nature of our job, and we need the ability to charge our batteries and come back stronger. These last few months did that for me!

Although this is my last official post, I am still around if you need me and always willing and passionate to talk about global learning. Over the next few months, I'll try to stop in and share some of what I'm doing in the classroom. I hope that the last few weeks of 2014 are blessed and happy for you and your family and that 2015 is your best year yet!
(photo: Carrie Kizuka photography)

Agriculturally Yours,

Nicole Weaver
PSU Global Teach Ag! Fellow
Agricultural Science Teacher


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