Owl Pellets: Tips for Ag Teachers
Types of Thinking Roundtable

Types of Thinking Roundtable

March 22, 2022

Guests: Amanda Bowling and Katrina Swinehart-Held from Ohio State University and Shannon Norris from New Mexico State University 

Main Points:  

  • To connect with students, ag teachers should provide accessible mentorship, create attainable relationship, foster student collaboration, and foster commitment to the program. 
  • Divergent thinking refers to creativity. It is possible for students to learn creative thinking. 
  • Teachers must focus on the journey rather than the destination because every student is different. Their end results are not going to be the same. 

“It’s our job as ag teachers to teach students how to think, not what to think.” 

Teaching Tools Roundtable

Teaching Tools Roundtable

March 15, 2022

Guests: Colby Gregg and Kelly Claflin from Ohio State University, Tim Buttles from University of Wisconsin River Falls, and Laura Greenhaw from the University of Florida 

“Teaching tools are designed to help you. Use ones that are cool and effective but mostly ones that make it easier on you. If they get your students involved and meet your objectives, they’re the right tools for you.” 

SBAE Perspectives Roundtable - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Agriculture

SBAE Perspectives Roundtable - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Agriculture

March 8, 2022

Guests: Amanda Bowling and Colby Gregg from Ohio State University, Maria Boerngen and Justin Rickard from Illinois State University 

Main Points:  

  • Be an ally. This is the first step in creating an inclusive classroom. Immediately address small, inappropriate comments made in your classroom. 
  • Be a lifetime learner. Acknowledge that it is going to be uncomfortable to constantly engage in new resources. 
  • Go the extra mile. Find examples and invite guest speakers that challenge the status quo. 

“We should be looking at inclusion more so than diversity. We need to think about including kids and not simply having diversity in our agriculture classrooms.” 

Student Stress

Student Stress

March 1, 2022

Guest: Megan Cantrell and Annie Muscato from the University of Florida

Main Points: Student stress falls into seven areas:

  1. Academic 
  2. Personal  
  3. Financial 
  4. Family 
  5. Environmental 
  6. Interpersonal 
  7. School 

“Students can become overwhelmed. If the student doesn’t say ‘yes’ to participating in something enthusiastically, then they probably should not participate.” 

Connecting the Classroom to Ag Experiment and Research Stations

Connecting the Classroom to Ag Experiment and Research Stations

February 22, 2022

Guest: Gaea Hock from Kansas State University 

Main Points: 

  • Research Stations were established by the Hatch Act of 1887 
  • These stations and their employees are incredible resources for students wanting to participate in Agriscience Fair. 
  • Ag Research Stations give students excellent exposure to cutting edge science and modern agricultural issues. 

“We must make it known that accessible people exist who enjoy scientific process. These folks are willing to help students in any way they need it.”  

How Teachers Acquire Skills

How Teachers Acquire Skills

February 15, 2022

Guest: Mathew Albritton from University of Florida 

“If you’re teaching a topic that you are less familiar with, do not worry! There are so many avenues of support. Anything from family members and colleagues to publications and YouTube can help you prepare for a lesson on an unfamiliar skill.” 

Using Online Networking Platforms for Your Benefit

Using Online Networking Platforms for Your Benefit

February 8, 2022

Guest: Kathryn Teixeira from University California, Davis 

Main Points: 

  • Teachers use platforms (like Facebook Groups), to connect to other teachers, find resources, and ask pertinent questions. The presence of such groups boosts the morale of students and provide many other benefits. 
  • All news breaks on social media. A social media networking platform is a great place to stay current on what works or is beneficial to teachers. 
  • Find what is best for you in your specific state. This kind of networking is supposed to work for you. 
Student Teachers Accommodating Students with Special Needs

Student Teachers Accommodating Students with Special Needs

February 1, 2022

Guest: Raegan Rampage and Richie Roberts from Louisiana State University 

“We need to encourage teachers, no matter what career stage they are in, to engage in trainings and meetings to really learn about individual students. This way they can tailor their class to that student.” 

Recognizing the Value in All Students

Recognizing the Value in All Students

January 25, 2022

Guest: Kirby Schmidt from Oregon State University 

Main Points: 

  • There is so much we can do to help. Something as simple as having a routine in your classroom provides stability to students. 
  • Notice the good and positive things all students do. Make a point to spread positivity in your classroom. 
  •  Ask your students what you can do to create an environment conducive to learning. 
Teaching Ag? Or Teaching STEM?

Teaching Ag? Or Teaching STEM?

January 18, 2022

Guest: Nicole Guise from Pennsylvania State University

Main Points:

  • As a whole, ag teachers do not feel extremely confident in incorporating STEM content into their lessons. Even though the two subjects parallel.
  • Teachers must be intentional to draw connections to STEM in their programs.
  • Some focus on STEM during preservice training could increase teachers’ confidence in these subject areas.
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