As an agricultural teacher educator at the University of Florida, I have had the opportunity to have a few international experiences. I am excited to be going on my longest international trip with this team of fine faculty, teachers, and future teachers of school-based agriscience.
Building an awareness of international opportunities and realizing them through this experience is an exciting direction for school-based agriscience programs in the United States. As I reflect back on my experiences as an undergraduate student coming from Lincoln Land Community College and then at Illinois State, I am happy with both decisions but wish I would have sought an opportunity to have an international experience.
While a graduate student at the University of Florida, I was able to realize this experience when I traveled to Egypt twice with Dr. Barrick.
I reflect back on the experiences I have had internationally, and I know it has impacted my teaching and learning as a teacher educator. Further, I believe the impact that will carry to our classroom will have a lasting impact in the way we approach many topics.
All this reflection, has lead me to believe our pending trip is more than an experience! From my very first travel to Egypt, I asked Dr. Barrick if we might have the opportunity to do over and above teaching and learning workshops (which was the objective of our trip). He smiled and told me, that's why I asked you to come along. While in Egypt, we investigated, built relationships, set the Egyptian teachers up for success with knowledge about effective instruction, and we made an impact on their school-based agricultural programs. I believe we can do the same for our students at all levels.
This begins now!
I am entering Korea with the mindset of making an impact while in Korea. What can I do, while in Korea, that helps them learn more about us and effective teaching & learning? Further, I want to have learned something meaningful when I return home to the University of Florida - AEC Dept. If I were still teaching at Mt. Pulaski High School in Illinois, I would continue to think about what my learning will mean to my students and I invite you to do the same. Go Gators!