Question for the Profession: Changing for the sake of change

If ag teachers DO NOT like one thing, it is change; especially when it is changing things just for the sake of change.

“I mean, really, I just figured out the danged American Degree application and my favorite CDEs and now they’re going to change them! It’s like the people in Indy and the state capitol think I’ve got all the time in the world to just drop how I’ve been doing things and figure out all the new stuff.”

Have you ever caught yourself thinking/feeling/saying that? I have. And like most ag teachers, that was my knee-jerk reaction when they handed me the 4-inch binder that held a printout of all the changes for 2012. My heart really sank when I began flipping through it at the training last April. I just could not fathom how classroom teachers were going to have time to wade through all of them. But… as the training progressed, I became confident that teachers would see the need for most of the changes and appreciate the efforts National FFA staff and the committees (composed of classroom teachers and state staff) to link everything we do to academic standards. I began flipping through the notebook only concerned with the events I participated in each year. Suddenly, I realized that most teachers would do the exact same thing, rather than worrying about ALL the changes.

In this month’s Making a Difference magazine, you will find references to the 2012-2016 handbooks in the articles. Take a few minutes today to access the guide for your favorite event or application. Take a quick browse, look to see what rules and format changes have been made, consider the increased focus on team events and performance, peek at the new scoring rubrics and ID lists, print off the resource list, and really consider the last few pages that show the event’s academic connections to student instruction. While each state’s events may not reflect the national event exactly, I still think you will find a lot of useful items for coaching students at the local and state level.

Share what you think about changes to your favorite event on the NAAE Communities of Practice. Do you think the changes have been made just for the sake of change?