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August 2010 - Organization & Classroom Management

The Journey Begins!

Being a new agriculture teacher can be overwhelming and invigorating all in the same moment.  As you enter your classroom for the first time or start class on the first day of school remember many have come before you and you are not alone.  This month we will focus on two essential components when starting out; organization and classroom management.  This monthly update will provide you with timely resources, tips from the trenches, and other inspiring information.  So from all of us at NAAE and your over 8,000 colleagues, "Welcome to the profession!"  We hope you stay for a long time!
Instant Resource Tool: Communities of Practice

The NAAE online collaboration and networking website Communities of Practice (CoP) is a virtual genie of answers just waiting to be rubbed...or asked.  There are nearly 2000 Ag Teachers from across the US who already log in and ask and answer questions about anything from floriculture resources to shop equipment.  The great thing about the website - it's FREE.  Anyone has the ability to jump on the website and access ideas, resources, and tips from one of the community topic areas.  To answer questions or post documents all you need to do is create an account.  It's quick and simple.  So join in the conversation.  After all, we're all in this together.
Check out these great classroom management & organization posts on CoP:
*         Organizing Files<>
*         Absent Students<>
*         Room Organization<>
Upcoming Dates to Remember

*         October 20-23 - National FFA Convention<> - Indianapolis, IN
*         November 30-December 4 - NAAE/ACTE Convention<>, Las Vegas
Great Books

How to be an effective teacher- The First Days of School
Harry Wong, Rosemary Wong
Teaching With Love and Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom
Jim Fay, David Funk
Idea of the Month

Greet every student at the door on your first day!
Get to know your NAAE Member Benefits

Being a member of NAAE is both intrinsically and externally rewarding.  Some rewards are automatic, like a free $60,000 life insurance policy for first year members (learn more about this benefit)<>. Make the most of your NAAE membership by visiting our member benefits page<> for a complete list.
Meet Your NAAE Leaders

[]2009-2010 Past President
Mrs. Sally Shomo
Beverley Manor Middle School
Staunton, VA
Ag Teacher for 29 Years
Biggest benefit of NAAE membership :  The biggest benefit of NAAE membership to me has been the opportunity to network and build relationships with others.  I have developed so many friendships during my career that have enabled me to have a very large ag family that I can call upon, whether it is to vent after a frustrating day, to utilize the skills and talents of another teacher, or just to say hello - the ag teacher family is wonderful.  Of course, being able to serve the membership of the NAAE as national president last year was an awesome experience and a highlight of my ag teaching career!
Favorite...I have many favorites...I have a favorite granddaughter and grandson, and a new favorite puppy.  My favorite class to teach would be the Introduction to ag unit where I can open the eyes of students to see the importance of our farmers and agriculture in our state and country.
What do you know now that you wish you would have known as a first year teacher?  I wish that as a first year teacher I would have learned to lean on other teachers for their advice and knowledge.  I also wished that I would have kept better records and have a scrapbook of every officer team that I worked with, group pictures of FFA members each year that I taught and all of the chapter accomplishments.  If I had to do it all over, I would have files for everything and would have records of what I accomplished and who I taught every year.
What is one thing you try to do every day as an ag teacher?  I pray every day for guidance as I work with these young people that I will have the patience and skills that will enable them to be successful in whatever path they choose to follow.  I also make sure that I accomplish everything while at school and do not take any school work home with me.  Home time is family time and too many times we let our jobs run our lives.  Every teacher needs 'me' time and 'family' time!
Being an ag teacher is like waking up each morning, being able to go to work and do something different every day.  Being an ag teacher means having the ability to learn how to get the best out of every student.  Being an ag teacher means that you have to know a lot about everything and if you don't, the ability to make the students think you know it.  Being an ag teacher, on those good days, is the greatest educational opportunity anyone could ever have.  On those bad days, you just bide your time and you know the good times are coming. I wouldn't change my choice of careers for anything and am hoping that life after retirement will still include agricultural education!


The National Teach Ag Campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. For more information, visit the Teach Ag website<>.