I have had a few champions in my life. A few I still have, a few I don’t. I continue to look for people that lift up others. I was invited by PJ Simon this week to attend National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy sponsored by DuPont. I was invited not as one of the 30 ambassadors but an observer because I do not teach Ag. I arrived yesterday in Wilmington, DE at 6:45 am to meet up with the 30 Ag teachers from across the country. We toured the Stine-Haskell Research Laboratories to see how one of the products manufactures goes from start (research) to finish (market) and the Hagley Museum (the home and historical site of E.I. DuPont) in the morning and presentations by DuPont employees in the afternoon highlighting products. The evening started off with a mean game of lawn bowling ( my partner John and I won!) and dinner at DuPont’s County Club.
This morning has been spent working as students on labs testing food safety and food security. However these workshops are at Chesapeake Farms, Chestertown, MD. The farm is owned by DuPont.
DuPont values education and is committed to being a champion for teachers. I have been lucky enough to find one of my champions in PJ Simon. She not only is a big proponent of Ag teachers but of science teachers in general. She has allowed me to have some great professional experiences the past 3 months. I can’t thank her enough. But I know the way I can repay her! Teach my students well. And I will.
PS: I wrote this prior to hearing the Ag teachers speak at the closing awards part. The biggest take away for me, and I knew this going into this week, is to continue to surround yourself with positive people and engage each summer with a rewarding experience that brings you back in to focus of the WHY of your career. Almost every teacher spoke of how this week changed their lives and a few mention how they were close to quitting their jobs this year. We have to stick together to self-promote and remind each other of the reason we do what we do: the kids. We tend to lose focus for various reasons. Every teacher needs an experience like this. I had mine a few years ago when I flew in zero-g at NASA with PPPL. I found my WHY and embraced it. Every child needs a teacher that finds his/her WHY.