My Internship with the NRCS
Working with the NRCS has changed the way I look at the surrounding farmland here in Greene County. Greene County is an extremely urban area full of farmland and before working with the NRCS I did not know how much work and effort went into producing an effective crop season. The NRCS does a lot of cost sharing projects with farmers to help them implement more conservation practices.
During my internship we have helped create a waterway that will help stop erosion on crop fields, created a waste plan for turkeys and hogs and collaborated with local farmers on practices that could help their farms. These plans have not only helped farmers save money, but they are conserving energy, which is the goal of all NRCS programs.
The most interesting aspect of my internship has been seeing all the work that goes into producing an effective farm. To many they will never see the math and science that goes into farming, but working with the NRCS has given me the insight of what goes into it. Being from a small town in upstate New York I have also never had the experience of going to a turkey, chicken or hog farm. Working with the NRCS I have been able to not only experience this, but work with these farmers on plans to implement conservation programs.
While creating my product I found it was difficult to focus on one specific topic. At the NRCS they have many different jobs that connect with what goes on in schools. Many of the jobs they do deal with the waste plans for animals (that includes tons of numbers), waterways for fields (dealing with ecosystems) and even what chemicals go on different rows of crops. The math and science behind all these jobs relate with the curriculum for our students and finding which one to connect it with was the most difficult.
A success on the other hand was how easy it was to get the data for my product. The NRCS collects the rainfall data for Snow Hill so that they can use that information on many of their jobs. This made it easy to get the data for my product. My product deals with place value and using this information made it easy for me to create part of my product. I also created a product that deals with fractions and using the information given to the NRCS from local farmers on their acres of land helped me make this product.
Overall working with the NRCS has helped me create products that will not only challenge the students of Greene County Schools, but will also help relate the curriculum to them.
By completing my internship with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) they will be gaining a voice in the school system to help promote their organization. They will be able to come to school on multiple occasions, work with the students and do some outreach projects. During my internship I will also be able to provide a different perspective on many of the issues they face daily, help explain to them what we do in the school system and how it might be beneficial in their line of work and possibly teach them some leadership skills. Being from a county that is very technology rich I also might be able to teach them some skills that might help in their day-to-day jobs. Overall I believe it will be a positive experience for both of us.
The goals of my internship are to increase my leadership skills, relate the curriculum more effectively to my students and increase community involvement in the schools. Observing my mentor in all aspects of his job will help me to gain valuable leadership skills that I can then use in my new position as assistant principal. By using information and data gained from my internship I can then relate the curriculum to what I learned to my students. I will also be able to build relationships with many local community members in which I can then use to help increase the involvement of the community in the schools. By accomplishing these goals I will increase my effectiveness as an educator, which in turn will positively affect the students of Greene County.
For the past 6 years I have been a 5th grade teacher at Greene County Intermediate School. I have taught all subjects including Social Studies, ELA, Math and Science. I have recently accepted a position as assistant principal at West Greene Elementary in Greene County and will be starting July 1st.
I wanted to become a Kenan Fellow because I thought it was a great opportunity for me to enhance the effectiveness of my teaching and being a leader. During my internship, I would like to gain more leadership qualities that I will learn from my mentor, use the information I learn through my internship to relate the curriculum more effectively to my students and make connections with local community members that I can use to enhance community involvement in the schools of Greene County. In doing all of this it should help increase student achievement, increase the communities involvement in the school and help me become a more effective leader.
The week we spend at NCCAT was extremely informational and beneficial for all educators that attended. In my new role as assistant principal I plan on implementing the strategies I learned during our breakout sessions on Tuesday about data. Greene County is full of data and it will be important that I am able to communicate the importance of the data and how to better use it to affect instruction/relationships.
The session on culture was probably my least favorite because I believe it was not as beneficial for a classroom teacher as the rest of the presentations. I do believe it is an important topic and something all educators can learn from, but in this particular instance it was not related to the classroom.
Spending a week at NCCAT was easily the most beneficial professional development I have ever attended. Most PD is centered around what the school wants, but at NCCAT it was scheduled around what the participants wanted.
The best session all week was the EDcamps. The whole session was beneficial because it was professional development that was ran by teachers. Being able to communicate and collaborate as professionals instead of being presented to was a pleasure.
As I begin my internship with the local NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) I am excited to work with professionals outside of my norm. I will be working with two government officials on cost share projects for farmers to implement. I look forward to learning about the process and implementation of these projects. I also look forward to learning about the day-to-day work of my mentors.
Being a Kenan Fellow will enhance my educational career because it will help me learn the skills companies and organizations are looking for in future employees. I will then be able to teach these skills and characteristics to the students that I work with. It will also provide me networking opportunities where I can learn different strategies to implement with my students.