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Virtual workshop series for Florida agriculture teachers to take place this fall

By Jarred Shellhouse

A new virtual workshop series dedicated to providing professional development for agriculture teachers is set to take place this fall.

Tre Easterly and Carla Jagger, assistant professors of agricultural education at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, are teaming up with seasoned Florida agricultural educators to deliver intentional professional development to other teachers remotely.

The Guiding Gators: Agriculture Teacher-Led Seminar Series will take place monthly, starting Aug. 27. Each one-hour virtual workshop will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST and follow a roundtable or panel discussion format.

“In the past six months, we have all had a lot of virtual content delivered to us,” Jagger said. “We wanted this series to be different, so our faculty are helping to facilitate the workshops, but we wanted real teachers who are currently teaching to be our featured speakers. Each webinar will feature at least one current teacher sharing some of their experience with the topics.”

The following topics will be presented:

  • Aug. 27. Navigating Facility Maintenance. Hands-on lab spaces are common in agricultural education. Maintaining these spaces can be a challenge for teachers. This workshop will cover some common maintenance practices for various types of facilities and discuss preparation for hurricanes and other disasters.
  • Sept. 24. Prepping for Program Planning. The intracurricular program components related to agricultural education can be a lot to juggle. This workshop will tackle issues related to planning FFA and Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE), including developing a Quality Chapter Plan and incorporating leadership development with social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Oct. 22. Teaching Online. Online teaching has become a new reality with the outbreak of COVID-19. During this workshop, teachers will share their best practices for delivering quality instruction at a distance.
  • Nov. 19. Curriculum Maps. The need to balance community needs, student interests and state standards causes agriculture courses to differ from program to program. During this workshop, teachers will discuss how they develop curriculum maps for their courses and decide which content they teach to students.

“Our teachers have had to continuously adapt in the last six months,” Easterly said. “Our goal for this series is to allow teachers a place to continue to learn and grow as educators, while acknowledging that we are still in a global pandemic and our classrooms might look differently than normal.”

This online series is available at no cost to participants and will be facilitated via Zoom, a video conferencing software. Zoom meeting information will be sent to participants after registering online. For more information regarding this webinar series, contact Tre Easterly or Carla Jagger at tre.easterly@ufl.edu and carlajagger@ufl.edu, respectively.

All webinars will be delivered at no cost to participants using Zoom, a video conferencing software. Interested individuals should register online to receive the login information.

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