Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Get to Know Your Students

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Get to Know Your Students

Article excerpt

Webster defines the word teach as "to show or help to learn how to do something, to give lessons in or to provide with knowledge". He further states "Teaching is the basic, inclusive word for the imparting of knowledge or skills and usually connotes some individual attention." The last words of this definition, individual attention, in my opinion, are what make the difference between a CTE teacher and an academic teacher.

Academic teachers do a wonderful job of distributing their wealth of knowledge to their students, but, to no fault of their own, tend not to be able to individualize their instruction. CTE instructors in general and agriculture teachers specifically are noted for being able to work with their student's one on one. Instruction is often customized to meet the needs of the students.

One of the best tools for customizing the student's instructional program and also making the student feel successful is their SAE program. We, as agriculture teachers, have the unique opportunity to see our students and work with them in a setting other than a formal classroom. We get to see them at their work sites. For me, this is an opportunity to get to know the student on their ground, a location where they feel comfortable. I can learn about their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, how their school work is progressing and who their family is. I am in a rather fortunate situation here at Chatham High School in that I graduated from this school more than 30 years ago. In a large number of cases with my students, I either went to school with their parents, their grandparents, or I taught their parents. In a large number of instances, I already know the home situation and I think that this makes it easier for the students to relate to me and thus, the agricultural program. For most of our first year students, this gives them a sense of security. They seem more likely to come to the ag department if they have questions or problems about school. This gives us as agriculture teachers the opportunity to really make a difference in our students' lives. After all, everyone knows that ag teachers are more than just instructors to our students. …

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