Volume XLIV No. 3 June 2002

"The Value of One Ö The Power of All"
Bryan D. Gause

(Submitted by NAAE President Sarah Osborn Welty)

"The Value of One ... The Power of All." In this time of change and challenges in our nation and organization, it is important to look to the power that surrounds us. The 2001 NAAE Convention was a great success and NAAE broke attendance records with over 500 members and guests registered. The Partnership EXPO exceeded expectations with more display space needed and it provided valuable connections for our members. Through the NAAE convention, we strive to empower those in attendance so that they may return home and empower others. What a value! The challenge, of course, is how can we empower those who were not able to attend as well as provide encouragement to those who are considering leaving the profession. We also are challenged on working to solve the teacher shortage, strengthen our Team Ag*Ed, be visible legislatively, and at the same time keep our heads above water with challenges we face on a daily basis.

Provide Mentorship to Others

Teacher recruitment and retention is the top priority of the agricultural education family. The power lies within us to solve the issue. Most agricultural educators have someone in their past or present who has been, or currently is, a key in helping them through the rough spots to achieve professional and personal growth. Rather than only during the convention, this mentoring is a daily, weekly, or monthly activity. Educators helping educators at the grassroots level is the key to longevity in our profession and helps to address the shortage of professionals in agricultural education. You can make a difference to the level of success someone else achieves. Our newest award area, the NAAE Teacher Mentor Award, sponsored by CEV Multimedia, serves to recognize those members who have been influential in mentoring others. Who mentored you? Chances are there was someone who took a special interest in helping you succeed. Consider a personal thanks to your mentor and consider becoming a mentor to another person in our profession.

Professional Collaboration

All facets of Team Ag*Ed are making a difference by working together. There are so many services that each member of the team provides to agricultural educators for the betterment of the profession and those involved with it. However, as a new teacher/educator, one may not know where to turn for assistance. The State Relationship Manager pilot project has shown success in this area. A combined front for answers to questions and services needed helps our members to be more efficient, save time, and ultimately, prevent teacher burnout. If you were not able to attend the National Agricultural Education Inservice this year, you missed an outstanding gathering. During the banquet on the last evening of the inservice, Dr. Larry Case said it so well: "During the past few days, we have laughed together and we have cried together." For the second year in a row, the inservice proved to be the most valuable meeting I attended to help me in my classroom and as a leader in my professional organization. Having representatives from all Team Ag*Ed organizations in one place gave those in attendance current updates, professional development opportunities, opportunities for professional interaction, and a great place to have questions answered. Meetings such as the National Agricultural Education Inservice and think-tank groups such as the National Council for Agricultural Education bring us all together to coordinate our efforts toward addressing our national issues.

Legislative Advocacy

A few months ago, I attended The Council board meeting held in Washington, D.C. and I was involved with visits to the offices of the Maryland United States Senators and Representatives. All of the Council members visited their respective elected officials with a unified message on the Secondary and 2-year Postsecondary Agricultural Education Challenge Grants, the proposed School Environment Protection Act, and the Perkins reauthorization and appropriations. This was a very positive experience. Yet, I was surprised to learn that those with whom I spoke knew very little about agricultural education. We are trusting our elected officials to make decisions on our behalf but we are not doing enough to educate them about the importance and effects of their decisions. We take for granted that agricultural education is well known because it is in our professional circles and in OUR daily lives. The powers that be DO NOT have this same outlook as they do what they do best, that is make decisions on our behalf. We need to open our eyes and see the educating that needs to be done with our legislators so they are truly working for us rather than against us. During my Capitol Hill visits, my elected officials asked a lot of questions and we made some important contacts. Never underestimate the power that your state organizations may have legislatively if a united front if formed. From the NAAE website, I encourage you to use our Legislative Advocacy Center (Capitol Advantage) for progress in your state as well as on the national level. Make a trip to your state capital or Washington D.C. and educate your legislators about our profession. If we donít do it, there is no one who will. The NAAE board will be conducting our summer board meeting in Washington D.C. just for that purpose and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity again to educate legislators about the importance of agricultural education and the issues that face our profession.

As your president, I will work diligently to face these challenges head on. You can feel confident in the NAAE board of directors you have elected to represent you on the national level in a positive way. We are all dedicated in working to find solutions for the challenges we face and the challenges we have yet to meet. Each one of us involved in agricultural education is needed and valued in solving our challenges. Together, we truly are "The Power of All."



Ideas Unlimited

Teacher Spotlight

Developmental Phases of Agricultural Educators

Regional Updates

2001-02 NAAE Board of Directors

New NAAE Staff -- Pam Holbert

New Sponsor -- CEV Multimedia

Dates and Events

2000-01 NAAE Award Recipients

Professional Liability Insurance

Loss of Bryan Gause

New NAAE Sponsor -- Syngenta

Washington Beat

New NAAE Organizational Members

2002 Outstanding PAS Advisor

Finney Company -- Hobar Publications

 

Review the
2000-01 NAAE Annual Report
on the NAAE website.

See
"Developmental Phases of Agricultural Educators"
on pages 4 and 5


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June 2002
NAAE News & Views
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