When I tell people I work in Agricultural Education and General Agriculture at Oregon State University, I usually get asked the follow up question: "So, what do you do?"
Honestly, it depends on the day...but it really does depend on the term. I have only been on the job since August, so I haven't seen the rhythm of an entire year yet. I can, however, talk in broad, sweeping strokes.
Fall term I was part teacher educator/ part leadership educator. I taught two classes. First, I taught a graduate course for our student teaching cohort (future high school ag teachers) called "Laboratory Pedagogy" which covered topics related to teaching in non-classroom settings (i.e. metals lab, greenhouse, field trips). A fun 3 hours with 12 students every Monday afternoon. I was also the instructor for the capstone course required of our General Agriculture majors. This writing intensive course came with pretty open parameters so I made it part leadership development and part career/life skills. Both classes were good experiences for me, but both classes would be thoroughly revised if I am to be the instructor again.
This winter I am part researcher/ part teacher educator. I am coordinating the seminar that our student teachers come back to OSU for every other Friday while they are out student teaching. While it means I ONLY teach every other Friday, it means I teach ALL DAY. I have a strong need to be organized so I have planned out all four seminars and all of the due dates ahead of time. Maybe that will make the term run smoothly. We'll see. I will also spend some time on the road visiting student teachers. They are scattered pretty far (see previous post for a map) and need to be visited a total of 6 times during the year. So far, two down and 4 to go for each of them. There will also be some road time to get in the second round of interviews for a grant funded study on the CASE curriculum. And the term ends with State FFA Convention during our spring break. The host site rotates each year so we are heading to Medford for this year's Convention. That is also when worksamples will roll in and need to be graded in one weekend. (We should discuss the nightmare that is WORKSAMPLES sometime, but today isn't the day.)
Spring term I will be part leadership educator. I will be developing a new course for us called "Team and Organizational Leadership" during spring term and am excited and challenged by the idea. I will also be part conference attendee starting at the end of winter term and carrying into the summer. (That conference part was said a little tongue-in-cheek, but not really.) I have trips to Orlando (March 2-4), State Convention (March18-21), New Orleans (April 8-12), Fresno (April 20-22), Coeur D'Alene, ID (May 24-27), Hood River, OR (June 22-24) and Denver (July 10-13).
I also do advising for some of the students in the department. I also co-advise a fun bunch of college kiddos in a student organization: Collegiate FFA. I have also picked up a faculty/staff fitness class everyday (weightlifting 2 days a week and water aerobics 3 days a week), grad and career group on Tuesday nights (with some other G&C fun stuff mixed in on Friday's, Saturday's and Sunday mornings during the term), a Tribe for Dox meeting on Thursday evenings, Weight watchers meetings once a week, and a WIC (Writing Intensive Course) seminar for the next five Tuesdays.
That's what I do. And, I gotta say, it makes me a little tired to think about it all. I'm gonna take a nap now.