Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Horticulture and Agriculture Program at MVHS = Relevant Learning for Students!

Greenhouse at Magna Vista High School
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to tour several of our schools with a fellow superintendent from Pennsylvania.  On our first stop, we visited Warrior Tech Academy at Magna Vista High School.  In addition, I took her down the hall to meet Mr. Holland and Mrs. Barker who teach the popular horticulture and agriculture courses at MVHS.  Whenever I talk to these fine educators, I quickly determine why students enjoy their programs.  Both Mr. Holland and Mrs. Barker are excited about their curriculum and their excitement is contagious.  As we talked to both of them yesterday, I was reminded of the importance of these programs for students.  Certainly, students learn a great deal about horticulture, agriculture, and veterinary science.  However, they learn so much more than that.  In HCPS, we are working on the 4 C's (Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication).  In the short time that I was in the classes yesterday, I saw several examples of these skills.  For example, the students in Mrs. Barker's class were busy preparing for their annual Wedding Show.  I saw students being creative as they worked to select a theme that has not been used in the past.  In addition, they had to "think outside the box" to apply the selected theme to the show.  I also saw students working collaboratively  to complete the project as a team.  When I stopped by to visit with Mr. Holland, he explained how he works with students to make the learning relevant to life outside of the classroom.  Both teachers have students sell their products to see how the business side works.  I left feeling that we need to create more opportunities like this in all of our career and technical education programs.  In addition, we need to work toward creating this type of learning environment in the core classes (English, mathematics, science, and social studies).  Students should be excited about their learning and as educators it is our job to make the learning relevant.  Thanks for Mrs. Barker and Mr. Holland for setting a great example for all of us!  

Goal 1: High Quality Instruction

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