Epiphany of Learning

In Agricultural Mechanics I Class

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Aha Moment #1

As excited as we, as future educators, are about a content area or unit, our students most likely will not be, initially. Even in our own classes, such as TCH 219, we see the passion each person has about their specific content area, but we don't get it. We love our content area. Well thats how most students are going to be as well. They will have their favorite class or maybe no favorite class. This means we are going to have to work hard to come up with a plan to engage these students, to get them sold on your program, your content area, your class.


Students want answers. "Hey Miss Ehnle, I don't get this. Can you help me?" My reaction: Yes, yes, yes! They are asking for help! Sometimes, I can be naive. Sometimes, students don't want to understand it, they just want an easy answer. One of the greatest tools to use is to turn their questions back to them. And let me tell you, students just love when you do that. Ha. Ha.

Student: "Well I would only need four carriage bolts, right?"

Me: "So does the other side not need any?"

Student: "OH! Just because you cannot see the other side of the picnic table on the plan doesn't mean you can forget about it altogether! I need 8 carriage bolts."

Success. Lead them toward the answer, but never give them the answer. In this case there was a correct, quantitative answer. Other times, there is not one correct answer and different ways of doing things can get students to the same result. Encourage creativity in this sense.


When it comes to classes such as this and students with IEPs, it can be challenging at times to think of accommodations. I realized sometimes it doesn't have to be anything that involves too much work, just a little creativity. For example, on the tool ID test, we chunked the tools in groups of three to help the student move through the tools quickly rather than having a list of 25 tools and looking at them one at a time. This way he had A-C to choose from and 3 tools in front of him. Then the next group of 3 was D-F. This took five minutes to set up with sticky notes and markings on his test. Like I said, sometimes it just takes creativity.
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One of my absolute favorite moments, realizing that the students that have a hard time feeling as though they "fit in" can become the most loyal students in your classroom or program. With encouragement, outside planning, and opportunities to become involved, these students will often run with it.

There was one student in particular that made me realize this. He had no agriculture background and a less than supportive home life. This student took every opportunity given to him. They needed another member on the time to complete the five member team to compete. He was there. Get this, even if it was outside of his comfort zone. Oh, and I like my comfort zone as much as the next person, but the best lessons are learned outside of it. This should be our goal as educators, get students so bought into the program and classes that they forget about their fears and just jump right in.


The content area that we love, that we want to teach, I am going to guess there was probably a point in our life where we did not like it. Whether it was a bad teacher, hard unit, or failed test. Heck, at one point I did not even want to take agriculture classes.

This is an exact quote: "Mom, I am never wearing that ugly, blue, corduroy, FFA jacket. Ever."

Guess who ended up wearing that jacket? Me.

Guess who ended up being president of the club that wore those awful jackets? Me.

All because of a teacher.

I have the opportunity to have this kind of impact on students when I student teach, when I help in the classroom. How am I going to use this opportunity?

My Reflection: Four Lessons

These lessons I learned are epiphanies, but I went into more detail. They are shared in the video. Go ahead, click the green button, enjoy!