Turning a Teacher's Aide into an Agricultural Education Teacher

By O'Byrne, Kim; Dormody, Tom | The Agricultural Education Magazine, May/June 2008 | Go to article overview

Turning a Teacher's Aide into an Agricultural Education Teacher


O'Byrne, Kim, Dormody, Tom, The Agricultural Education Magazine


If agricultural education is going to achieve 10,000 quality secondary programs by the year 2015, it will need to recruit and develop many new teachers. These teachers will replace those who will leave the profession and staff the estimated 4,000 new positions that will be added by the 10x15 initiative. Currently, the profession is experiencing a shortage in new agricultural education teachers. To end the shortage and achieve the increase in teachers stimulated by the 10x15 initiative, agricultural educators are challenged to think of new recruitment and development strategies.

For New Mexico, we conceptualized the "Agricultural Education Teaching Internship for Juniors and Seniors in High School" as one new tool for recruiting and developing new teachers. Juniors and seniors in high school commonly serve as teacher's aides for a unit of credit toward graduation. Our idea is for agricultural education teachers to identify talented students who have the interest and potential to become quality agricultural education teachers as their aides. In the internship program, their duties are structured and supervised/mentored by their agricultural education teacher to give the interns a comprehensive look at and successful experiences with the role of agricultural education teacher. Interns get real experiences in all three components (classroom and laboratory instruction, FFA, and SAE) and strategies (partnerships, program marketing, professional growth, and community-based program planning) of Local Program Success.

Grading Rubric for College Credit

Upon entering college, the student receives college credit for their internship by submitting a portfolio. Our instructions and grading rubric for interns compiling and university faculty assessing internship portfolios for college credit are:

Juniors or Seniors in high school who have expressed interest in agricultural education teaching as a career can receive New Mexico State University (NMSU) credit for AXED 100 (Introduction to Agricultural and Extension Education-3 credits) and AXED 230 (Early Field-Based Experience-!credit) for interning with their agricultural education teacher(s) while still in high school. To receive credit, they must register for AXED 100 and AXED 230 the fall of their first semester at NMSU. During the year of high school they are interning, students will develop a portfolio based on the Local Program Success model, containing the following tabbed sections and entries:

1. INSTRUCTION: Under the supervision of their supervising teacher, interns will plan and teach at least two 50-minute lessons, and will develop the lesson plans and evaluation tools used for the lessons. Lessons may be selected from the NM Agriculture Curriculum Lesson Plan Library, LifeKnowledge(TM) curriculum, another curriculum used by the supervising teacher, or can be developed by the student following the NM Agriculture Curriculum Lesson Plan Library lesson plan format. (20 points)

2. FFA: Interns will take a leadership role to facilitate the planning and implementation of two major FFA activities. They will provide all planning tools developed (e.g. POA forms, calendars, etc) and utilized for the activities. Examples include facilitating the FFA chapter's participation in a fair, a leadership program, a CDE competition, State FFA Convention, and State FFA Camp. Include details of travel, food, and lodging arrangements, students attending, and any other pertinent information in this section. (20 Points)

3. SAE: Interns will report on at least two SAE visits made with their supervising teacher. Discuss the size, scope and condition of the SAE and the status of the record book in each report. (10 points)

4. PARTNERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAM PLANNING: Interns will document interaction with the agricultural education program's partners such as parents; school administrators, counselors, faculty, and staff; the advisory committee; the FFA alumni affiliate; local organizations, agencies, and businesses; etc. …

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