Yes! Agriculture!!!

Happy by Pharrell

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Today, I went back to a place that I haven’t been in awhile. Rather, I went back to an activity that I haven’t done in awhile. I found myself in three different classes in Turner, Oregon.  Each class was about 30 students and I found a passion ignite in me that I thought I didn’t have anymore or at least, I forgot that I had.

Side note #1: Back November 2015, after many years at the same job I painfully came to the decision that I needed to leave.  Not because I wanted too but because my children were struggling with school and had just moved to the middle school. It was a difficult transition and I knew if I didn’t leave my job I couldn’t give the amount of time and energy to what was my #1 job…being a mom. I remember the day, crying and saying, “I have to resign.”

I left something I loved doing and something I believed was important for students to know about (agriculture) because I knew I could never get this time back with my children. Years pass by so quickly with children and every day that passes, they change, and with the difficulties they were having I couldn’t possibly not leave my job.  Today, I know I made the right choice.

Yesterday, I went to the middle school and found that both of my boys were chosen by two different teachers’ for a “Teacher’s Choice” award.  They both were recognized for their smiles, positive attitudes, their drive, and they never quit when it gets tough – this made me very proud.  The assembly went on and without really paying attention I heard one of my son’s names called for Honor Roll.  I was shocked, fumbled for my camera and got one picture. This showed me I made the right choice.  Both of my sons are thriving!!

The job I left was with Oregon Agriculture in the the Classroom. I worked there for quite a few year’s and I loved it!  Still to date, my favorite job! I loved the people I worked with. I believed in the message of the program to share agriculture with students in the state of Oregon and to educate students about what agriculture means to all of us.

There all things about every job that we like more than others but for this job, it was simple. For me, it was teaching students about agriculture. I could be having a rough morning; the kind you really don’t want to get out of bed but when I walk through the door of almost every classroom I have been in I thrive! The curiosity in their eyes when they look at me gives me such a rush, I know that I will be able to teach them something they didn’t know before they arrived that morning and I know each one of them will take a piece of that information with them!! It’s a challenge. I walked in those rooms today, I knew how to present, how to grab their attention, what to talk about, and I knew they would listen.  It was awesome!!!

Side note #2: During my job interview, I couldn’t define the word “agriculture”, like at all! I couldn’t say farm, dirt, truck, tractor….and I actually requested that we come back to that question.  (Oh, the embarrassment!)

I have always had a goal to make sure I get an “ohh” and an “ahhh” out of a teacher during my presentations.  When I run out of those, I need to educate myself more. (Or at least that is what I think.) I research and I find something else, sometimes it takes a lot of digging.  Politely, I love having a teacher ask me a question I know the answer to and seeing the surprise in their faces.  This was always something I did in my job.  I wanted teachers to know without them noticing that I was one step a head. I took so much pride…. real pride, in teaching about agriculture and the importance of it when I was working!

I am confident that I am able to teach students something new but when I can teach the teacher something…that is what I want to do!! That is the good stuff – the sweet spot! I love love teaching students but when I can stump the teacher…that, is the sweet spot!

The students are amazing (not all of the time) but I know how to command the attention in the room…I’d like to say I inherited that from my father (a teacher for over 30 years).  He was an awesome teacher not because he was my dad but because now at 39, I still have people on the street ask me about my dad and what he is doing and they always, always share something about how my dad impacted their lives. Now, that is a good teacher! Who wouldn’t want to be remembered that way. I only wish that as I get older and when I perhaps pass that people talk about me the way they talk about my dad.

So, today after teacher three classes. I am honored to do it again. Monday, in fact I am lucky enough, I get to teach again. Not because it’s my job any more but because I truly love it.  I am passionate about it and it makes me see the world differently.  Seeing something through the eyes of a student or young person can change your life. I know when I am teaching about agriculture, I make an impact and I know I am good at it!

Today, I made a difference.  I taught about 90 students, three teachers, and someone peaking threw the door.

A Shout out to Teachers!!

I have been thinking a lot lately about teachers. I just signed up and am now enrolled for a week long writing workshop with my high school creative writing teacher…for me learning should never end.  Granted, you have a number of years to  be taught in a school setting.

It’s an empowering feeling that comes when you complete the task at hand, the report, the project, and for me at 39-I will never stop learning-Wether it be how to be a better writer, mom, wife, bookkeeper, photographer, I will never quit learning. I believe learning is important to all people at all ages.

I think about the things that people say about my father as a teacher.  He has been retired for a few years now but I still run into people who ask about him and share with me the wonderful stories of how he impacted their lives.  I actually had my dad as a teacher, years ago and I remember loving watching him (he always looked like he was so happy-elated really, to be a teacher) but I also remember him being very strict with me.  I understand why now because he wouldn’t show any special treatment with his own daughter but I remember thinking he was a great teacher!

Fast forward to today, I have two 12 yr old boys who each struggle in their own subjects and with different social situations. I lean on their teacher’s to tell me what is going on, to help me help them with homework, to let me know when they are having a bad day or a good day.  I expect them to move mountains for my children and they do!

I also believe some teachers see me walk down the hall and want to run like hell to their classrooms and lock the doors.  🙂 I can often become emotional about my children (after all, they are my kids and they deserve the best). Their growth in school is something I feel I need to be actively involved in because I have no control about what it is happening when they are in school.  Again, I rely on the teachers.  So, for any of you who have known me as a parent and you have had my child in your class, I am not crazy however, I am fighter for their education, I am also a fighter for you (teachers), if any teacher came to me about something they needed in their class, I would go out of my way to help them personally get it.  If they needed a voice, I would give mine.

Teachers, I need you to do your best and have the supplies you need to be the best teachers you can be! Down to my core, I believe that the teacher/parent relationship is so important.  So, to some of you, I am sorry if you ever had to pass me the box of Kleenex in your classroom. I am passionate about my children’s education and you deliver that to them!

We have been blessed to have some amazing teachers for our boys.  Teachers that go above and beyond, they embrace their roll as their educators, they do not give them the answers they work to help show them the way, these educators deserve more-every year we pack their classrooms with more and more students, less supplies, and less time for hands-on learning…..there is so much testing and standards that MUST be met.

I wonder, if we gave teachers the standards to meet for a year and didn’t have to worry about specific standardized tests–what would happen in those classrooms.  I believe those teachers would guide their students to fly….if they met the requirements set by the state but they were not limited by how they fulfilled those requirements.  Just think…what that would do for the teachers and most of all, for our students and children!? The entire classroom would light on fire with learning and ideas….minds asking questions and exploring new and different subjects that just don’t fit in to today’s curriculum.

Teachers are an incredible resource, they are a special kind of person. These people are rare! When you find a good one, try to figure out how you can keep them in your child’s life, so they develop a bond and the student will always know they can go there (to that teacher).  They will know and feel that that specific teacher will always have their back. They give and give without expecting anything in return.  We need them, more of the them, and it seems every year the number of actual teachers, we have, drops.

So, if you get the chance and see a teacher-your childhood teacher, or teacher’s you  have now, make sure to thank them and let me know how important they are to you and your world. I know I need to thank the teacher’s that help my boys’ every day. Without teachers, what would our children and future look like?