April 2016

Page 1

NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication

April 2016

Are You Making The Most Of Your Chances? Ray Pieniazek, East Central

As you get around to reading this article, I am sure that you have had a wild month of March, just as I have. When I came back from spring break, I was glad to be back in the classroom when many of my students welcomed me. Have any of your students felt like they never see you during the spring? It made me feel wanted again in the classroom, as that is my first job, a teacher. Work hard to make sure you have the best lessons possible while you are there and away. I sometimes get a little frustrated that students don’t complete assignments when I am gone, so I make sure to take time to get them caught up when I return. Recently, I used what I thought was a relevant assignment for my woodworking class. They were to complete a sample job application. However, little did I realize how much help my students would need with the seemingly simple assignment. I took time to go over what should be put on an application and what are not the best practices, (ex. your mom and dad are not good references and you cannot ask for a $100,000 starting salary for an apprentice position). It ended up being an excellent use of class time and my students commented that it is certainly something they will use

in the future. Over the past few months, I have asked if you are taking chances. Have you taken one recently? Are you continuing to challenge your students to take chances? Are you telling your students that it is okay to fail and learn from those failures? Today in my advisory class we were discussing taking chances. One student said he got out of a challenging class because he thought he was not going to be able to play baseball due to his low grades. I asked him if he consulted with the teacher, he said yes. The teacher’s response was it is not about the grade but whether he learned and understood the material. Another student commented that this particular teacher teaches the skills they needed to be prepared for college. Encouraging students to take chances that they can learn from is what we should always be doing. Yes, having good grades is important, but with hard work towards learning a subject will prepare them for various challenges in the future. By the way, the teacher I am referring to has been one of my daughters most effective teachers. That particular individual has challenged her to achieve and succeed on AP exams like no other

teacher on campus. It is important that we never forget we are preparing our young people for their future. Your influence goes way beyond the classroom. I enjoy this time of year because I get to travel with my teams. As you compete in contests, don’t forget to have some fun with your students and get to know them. Each one of them has something to offer to their team and to the world. Always let them know that their future is bright and that a contest is only one small part of the big adventure. Keep taking chances, especially those that will lead to brighter futures for your students.

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