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November 2010 - Building Positive Relationships With Students

Ask a room full of ag teachers what the best part of their job is and you will likely get the same answer; working with students.  This heartwarming response does not happen overnight as an ag teacher.  Building positive relationships with students takes time, patience, and often tough love.  The line between friend and teacher is very narrow.  As an ag teacher you are called upon by students to perform the role of parent, counselor, taxi driver, coach, and compassionate shoulder.  This month you will find useful tips and advice on how to connect with students on a personal level while maintaining professionalism and respect.

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Useful Posts on Communities of Practice

Check out these Communities of Practice posts related to Building Positive Students Relationships.  CoP is the only online collaboration portal for ag teachers, and it’s free and super simple to use.     

·         Student Bulletin Boards

·         Celebrating in Class

·         Maintaining Teacher Professionalism

·         Students Evaluate the Teacher

·         Connecting with Diverse Students

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Upcoming Dates to Remember

·         November 30-December 4 - NAAE/ACTE Convention, Las Vegas

·         February 19-26 - National FFA Week

·         March 24, 2011 - National Teach Ag Day

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Great Reads

The Ten Students You'll Meet in Your Classroom
Vickie Gill

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Idea of the Month

Attend student related functions; band concerts, track meet, school play, Boy Scout pancake supper, etc.

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Get to know your NAAE Member Benefits

Being a member of NAAE is both intrinsically and externally rewarding.  The membership benefit feature this month is the NAAE US AgEd Listserv.  The listserv is a free service that allows you to connect with other agriculture teachers across the nation.  You are able to post comments and keep up to date on the latest happenings in the profession.  Go to to sign-up today.

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Meet Your NAAE Leaders


[log in to unmask]" align=left v:shapes="Picture_x0020_2">2009-2010 Region I Vice President
Mr. Hugh Mooney
North Coast Region Supervisor
Sacramento, CA
Taught high school agriculture in Beiber and Galt, CA for 17 years
Combined years of service to agricultural education: 27

Biggest benefit of NAAE membership to you:
Meeting teachers from around the country and learning about how they approach the many challenges of being an agricultural educator. It seems that if we are looking to grow as an agricultural educator there are often opportunities. When I became an active member of NAAE those opportunities to grow were expanded.

Favorite Component of Ag Education: More than any other aspect of agricultural education I enjoy making home SAE visits. That interaction with the student and their parents is what leads to the special relationship that agricultural educators have with their students. Once you have developed that relationship it seems that you can push students to meet their potential.

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 known that the experienced teachers in my area were willing to provide me help if I was willing to ask. I, like many of the young teachers I meet today thought that experienced teachers would not want to help me because I was the competition. I have learned that teachers consider it to be a great honor to be asked by a peer for help.

What is one thing you try to do every day as an ag teacher?
I try to make a difference to somebody. When you have been part of the profession for several years you have the opportunity to see former students who will share with you how you had made a difference in their life. It is amazing that some students you thought hated you as a teacher a few years later will thank you for expecting more of them than they expected of themselves. This happened to me again this past weekend.

How did you successfully build positive relationships with students in your program? 
You might get a different answer if you asked them but I think it was by demonstrating to them that I cared. John C. Maxwell is known for the quote, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

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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.


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