Sophie Hoelscher, New Breman High School with Maria Homan
Alexa Rednour, Versailles High School with Dena Wuebker
Each year the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership (ACEL) at the Ohio State University sends students to high schools around the state for 12 weeks to gain real world experience in the classroom. This year, 22 agricultural education programs welcomed student teachers who are seniors in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and agriscience education majors.
“’Doing to learn’ is a key part of the motto for the National FFA Organization, so it only makes sense for our agriscience education student teachers to be in the classroom environment getting hands on experience,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor of agriscience education and chair of ACEL. “Student teaching prepares our students for their future roles in the classroom by allowing them to lead an agriscience education program with the aid of experienced agriscience teachers. Aside from carrying out lesson plans in a classroom, agriculture teachers serve as FFA advisors where they host chapter meetings, help students with career development events, and coach competition teams. This experience allows them to see into their future and get excited for the next step in their career.”
The participating students and schools are as follows:
Haley Back – Highland High School
Hayley Black – Meadowbrook High School
Nicole Biery – Northeastern High School
Micayla Fincham – Northwestern High School
Sean Fitzsimmons – Smithville High School
Jessie Howald – Caldwell High School
Seth Johnson – Tecumseh High School
Brenna Loxley – Edgewood High School
Samantha McAllister – Gamble Montessori High School
Rebecca McCarty – Hilsdale High School
Adrianne McPhillips – Urbana High School
Maddi Morlock – Otsego High School
Olivia Pflaumer – Global Impact STEM Academy
Milan Pozderac – Fairfield Union High School
MaKayla Risner – River Valley High School
Travis Rutledge – Edison High School
Paige Schaffter – Pettisville High School
Robert Selvey – Tiffin Sentinel CTC
Davis Sodders – Licking Valley High School
Katie Stokes – Bloom Carroll High School
Jamie Walter – West Muskingum High School
Ashlee Williams – Utica High School
Agriscience education is one of three undergraduate majors within ACEL. This major prepares students to acquire a license to teach agricultural science in secondary high schools through extensive training in agriculture science, educational psychology, instructional methods and youth development. For additional information on the agriscience education major or how you can make a financial contribution to student scholarships, visit acel.osu.edu.
Student teaching has been a whirl wind of emotions. Some good, others not quite as a good but the whole experience has been amazing none the less. One of my favorite parts of student teaching has been getting to know the students. Each student has their own personality. In turn, each class has its own personality. Some things work for some students and classes while they do not work with others. It’s been fun getting to know the personalities of the students and the different classes and differentiating for each.
A part of student teaching that I have struggled with is behavior management. I have a hard time deciding where my line is. The students definitely test that line, but it is hard to discipline them if I am not sure where it is. My cooperating teacher has been great about giving me advice and helping me through this learning curve. I have also got good advice before from my peers as well. While I struggle with this part of teaching, I appreciate the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and successes throughout this process.
I was not really sure what to expect when I began student teaching. I thought that I was unprepared, I was concerned with making relationships with students, and whether teaching was a good fit for me. Standing on the other end of student teaching, I realize that I was as prepared as I could have been for the experience. I often had to remind myself that four months was not a lot of time to form strong relationships. I made relationships with students that were unique to the experience. I am sad to think that I may not get to see the students anymore. We learned a lot together throughout my time teaching. As far as teaching being a good fit for me, I will say that I was not sure that I would teach up until this point. After student teaching, I could absolutely see myself becoming an agriscience educator.
My cooperating teacher and I are very similar. I think that our personalities and out teaching styles are very much alike. I think the students appreciated the similarities. I think that made the transition a little easier for them. The individuals that chose the student teaching placements did a fantastic job when they picked my placement and cooperating teacher.
The thing that I will miss the most about student teaching will be the students. I have enjoyed getting to know them and their learning needs. I will also miss working with my cooperating educator and learning from her years of experience. The students, teacher, and school district that I have gotten to be a part of has been so welcoming and great to work with throughout my experience.
The entire experience has made me look forward to having a classroom of my own. I am excited to decorate the room and interact with the students on a daily basis. I am looking forward to experimenting with lessons to see what works and what doesn’t work. I look forward to developing relationships with students, faculty, and staff within the school that I will be working with. I am excited for the next step in my teaching career.
I have earned a lot of valuable experience from my time student teaching. I am sad that it was cut short, but I am thankful for the time that I got. I am looking forward to the next steps in my teaching career.
Below are some pictures from my student teaching experience.
During Spring Semester 2017, 11 students completed their student teaching experience around Ohio. We would like to thank these teachers who volunteered their time and provided guidance and became mentors to our students.
Ms. Heather Tegtmeier
Northwestern High School
Ms. Shelby Balint
Ms. Jena Kemmerer
Fairfield Union High School
Ms. Emily Burns
Ms. Christie Bachman
Bloom Carroll High School
Ms. Karlie Canfield
Mr. Alan Post
Parkway High School
Mr. Jordan Dues
Ms. Rebecca Holbrook
Ms. Sara Dungan
Ms. Katie Black
Wauseaon High School
Mr. DJ Gase
Ms. Carmen Hartzell
Ms. Katie Hart
Ms. Debbie Ayers
Otsego High School
Ms. Hailey Lowden
Mr. Matt Wentworth
Meadow brook High School
Ms. Etta Ray
Mr. Barrett Zimmerman
Clyde High School
Ms. Tricia Schoen
Mr. Scott Sharp
Amanda Clearcreek High School
Ms. Carley Snider
Several cooperating educators joined us at the ACEL Annual Banquet on April 11, 2017 while others were unable to travel to Columbus for the event. Thank you again for attending!
By: Dennis C. Swartz
Agricultural Education Alumni (BS and MS)
The hands-on activities present in student teaching opportunities create a “real-world” atmosphere that cannot be duplicated in the college classroom. The classroom management style of the host teacher, the difference in maturity of freshmen vs upper-classmen and boys vs girls is real and the teacher must learn to manage the situations. Also, home visitations, working with handicapped and special education students can be beneficial for later teaching, since all will have those students within their classroom.
And… don’t forget, as a teacher within a school system, you will be expected to perform additional duties you never trained for and join organizations within the community that will assist with your personal and teaching career. No teacher in the school system gets more involved than the Ag teacher, so expect to be busy during both the school year and summer.
Mr. Swartz is an alumni of Ohio State’s agriscience education program (formerly Agricultural and Extension Education). The advice he shares in this blog post for our current student teachers are his own opinions.