Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Yeoju Agricultural High School- a place I would want to teach

Wow what a month it has been! I can't believe we only have two more days here in Korea. I have learned so much and have gained valuable memories that one day I can bring into my future classroom and that I can take home and share with those I interact with.

Just a friendly hello
Monday and Tuesday I had the chance to tour, teach and shadow students at Yeoju Agricultural High School. 

The composter

Never in a million years would I imagine such technological advancements in a high school setting. From the composting machine to the robotic milkers, Yeoju is high school ahead of the times. The school also has facilities to produce yogurt and cheese as well as sausage. After touring the school the ideas of sustainability as well as organic agriculture were evident everywhere we went. The vice principle was extremely proud to tell us all about their organic practices and how no chemicals are used on any of their crops.
Getting to teach in the classroom was also a great experience. Since our lesson was on sustainability it was very easy to tie in the school's practices into our lessons to allow the students to grasp our concepts better. I really enjoyed our group of students and it appeared that our SNU student teaching partner really enjoyed being in front of the classroom as well. Having the chance to teach with someone who speaks a different language is certainly a unique experience.

Touring the facilities especially their dairy barns was hands down my favorite part of the day. Coming from a dairy farm at home I could not wait to see some black and white spotted animals! I was also really interested in what a Korean parlor would look like. And to my surprise they did not have a parlor but two robotic milkers instead!

The robotic milker

My mind was blown and I could not wait to learn more about their animal science program. Having visited a few larger dairy farms in Pennsylvania as well as one in Indiana my appreciation and interest in robotic milkers began. Our small farm in western Pennsylvania has a traditional parlor and having the chance to compare ours to that here at Yeoju was amazing. Although there were many differences I was able to find similarities as well. One of which was the equipment brand used at Yeoju!
I could see the passion for animals all over the Yeoju campus and how much the students enjoyed working with animals everyday.

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to observe in one of the animal science classrooms. We spent the entire class period outside where our teacher showed us their facilities where small animals were raised by the students. Some students had "pets" of their own such as dogs where others worked in groups to take care of horses, goats, chickens, and a sheep. The students were very excited to show us their dogs and tell us a little about them such as their names. It was also great to see the level of respect the teacher had for his students. Once class started the students went right to work taking care of their animals. A group of 3 students were helping each other out to bathe their dogs. It was really interesting seeing how well they worked together and how much pride each student had in their projects.

A student's small animal project
I took away so much from my time at Yeoju Agricultural High School and I can not wait to share what I have learned with my family, friends, peers, and future students. I had a blast and the experiences I have gained are going to last me a life time and will impact many others.

I am sad to be leaving the Republic of Korea however, I know my time here was not wasted and I have gained so much! Hopefully one day I may return, or someone I interact with will take this leap into a new world!

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