Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... (well, not this time) #NAAE

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, not this time because Kayla Hack, Miranda Kane, and Matthew Snyder want to share their experiences from their week spent at the NAAE Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Although these three 2017 student teacher candidates have not claimed the title as an “Agriculture Educator” quite yet, they were provided the opportunity to attend the National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention as scholarship recipients and passionate learners for agricultural education. This experience was well worth the adventure across the United States. Kayla Hack shared, “It was awesome and really opened my eyes to some of my own views and ideas; while highlighted areas of growth- and of course lit the flame even higher in my excitement to be in the classroom.” It truly was an experience that all three took so much away from. Read below to find out more take-aways and thoughts in Vegas for NAAE shared by Miranda, Kayla and Matt!

Miranda Kane:

“My biggest take-away was understanding that agricutlural educators may not be perfect, but they continue to work hard in order to give the best to their students. I was able to experience their willingness first-hand as the teachers provided guidance and help to others. I loved asking questions to teachers and hearing their responses. They all gave great insight and shared some really crazy and amazing stories about their experiences as a teacher. I also loved being under the same roof with many amazing agricultural educators from across the nation and hearing their wisdom. Almost all of the sessions were led by current or past agricutlural educators. They all had some really great things to share which provided me more confidence for teaching in the future.

Also during the FAST Symposium, we got some really great resources to use in the classroom. But more than anything, I now know I have a unique and loyal support network of teachers in and out of Pennsylvania who I know will be more than happy to help me. Seeing the Ag Ed family put their heads together at the convention, and welcome us student teachers makes me feel good about the profession I am getting into. Even in the smallest of ways, the teachers are helpful. I am so thankful for this experience, but it would not have been possible without the co-sponsorship from Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators!”

Kayla Hack:

“The National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention is one of those conferences that you know others have LOVED- so you can’t wait to go, that was me, and I don’t regret it.  There were many highlights from my experience at convention that are  below.

It’s a tough job, but it’s not about you- so put on your sassy pants and deal with itThis is a combination of many quotes I heard from Rachel Sauvala, an agriculture teacher from Wisconsin during her workshop at NAAE convention.  Her workshop of delegation and utilizing community support and resources reminded me that no matter how nervous/unsure I am, I can do this job- and there are people that WANT to support me and my future students.  

Inquiry Takes Practice. I LOVE new resources and ideas and attending Future Agriscience Teacher Symposium as well as other inquiry based workshops provided me with supplies, content and cool tools to implement these new ideas.  The inquiry model and labs are two things I will use during my student teaching experience as I try to move students toward more student centered learning. 

Overall, professional development is extremely important and as a learner- I love it, and can’t get enough.  I am thankful that Penn State’s Center for Professional Personnel Development, the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators and Teach Ag! Society choice to support students like us- as well as the Future Agriscience Teacher Symposium sponsored by CHS, Growth Energy and DuPont Pioneer.”

Matthew Snyder:

“What a week! I am so thankful for the experience at NAAE Convention I became truly inspired to teach Ag!

This experience provided me with so many resources beyond what I had ever imagined. There are numerous ideas for not only lessons, but classroom structure, behavior, and more.

This experience also provided me with  a lot of new insight for the classroom. I always have to remember that I cannot to everything, but I can create change through my abilities that I have, and students will still appreciate and learn from that! Thank you to everyone who supported this experience.”

All three of these students have brought so much back from Vegas, we are glad they did not keep it there! Check out their blogs for more insight on the experience and their utilization of these resources throughout their time student teaching.

Blog Links:

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 teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.


Halee Wasson

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @wasson_halee

2018 Agriculture Education Student Teacher

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