This past week was the last meeting I would have with my fellow interns at the Ohio FFA center in regards to our internship. We had come so far, from shy, ready for anything interns, to students who are better informed and excited to start their teaching careers in the classroom. My internship with the Ohio FFA was really eye opening and allowed me to participate in major activities related to my career field, as well as meet some important people in the Ag Ed industry. It’s crazy how fast these past eight months have gone by and it is bittersweet that my experience is over. I found a new side of me that I can continue to grow and shape into the best teacher I know I can be.
In March, Levi Myers, Alex Tuggle, Cece Utendorf, Justin Feltz, and Emily Burns all started our first day as the first Ohio FFA Ag Ed interns. We learned about lessons plans and how to speak professionally in front of groups (and in the future our students), and began discussions in relation to becoming a teacher. Our job had a high level of importance: to spread awareness across Ohio about the need for Ag Educators in Ohio, as well as the nation. The question was how were we going to do it. Tentative at first, we started brainstorming about our plan of action for the year. With the help of our trusty supervisors, we were off to a great start. Our first major event would be State FFA Convention here in Columbus and we would not only have our own booth, but also would be running the first Ohio FFA Fights Hunger. We had students write thank you cards to their advisors, and packed over 85,000 meals to be dispersed over Columbus. Our first major event was over and it was time to get ready for a busy summer.
Over the summer months, the interns attended Summer Ag Conference, which was one of the most amazing experiences to have been apart of as a pre-service teacher. It is with my hope that in the next couple of years that pre-service teachers can have an opportunity similar to mine. FFA camp, State Fair, county fairs and SAE visit shadowing, industry visits, and volunteer events were also apart of our schedule. When all of the interns returned to school, it was time to go back to the classroom and talk to Ohio FFA chapters about Ag Ed as a future career. This was one of the best parts of the internship because we were getting into the classroom and teaching in front of the students. The students were so responsive, respectful and had many questions for me about my mission as an intern and what to expect when they enter college. In these classrooms is where I thought; this is why I am going to become a teacher.
Not only did I make a difference in the lives of students, but also I made five new friends who share a passion for agriculture. As current students and future colleagues, I know that these five wonderful people will be great teachers here in the state of Ohio. I cannot express the amount of appreciation I have for the opportunities I have been given from this internship.
The applications for the 2016 Ohio FFA Agriscience Education Interns will be coming out early next year and interviews will begin near February. If anyone has any questions or concerns please feel free to contact any of us interns, or go to teachagohio.org to the contact us/more info section.