How to Become Proficient in Ag Mechanics

June 17, 2016

For most every Ag teacher you come out of college proficient in one area of Agriculture.  For me it was Forestry/Plant Science and for Alicia it was Animal/Dairy Science.  So when Alicia was called on to teach an Intro to Ag Mechanics class panic set it.  I have always been handy with a wrench but being a Star Greenhand my senior year of high school didn't give me a good depth of knowledge with metals or welding.  So, with the help of the lead Ag teacher at her school, her mantra became one day smarter than the students. 

After school her time was dedicated to educating herself on the lesson for the next day.  That included time in the welding booth, chipping, breaking, and starting again. When a student would ask a question she didn't know the answer to she replied "We'll cover that tomorrow", without missing a beat.  She made sure she wrote the question down so she was sure to locate the answer that afternoon. 

Youtube is great but does not replace getting in the shop and doing the work yourself.    How can you expect to manage student work when you don't know what they were doing wrong because you've never experienced it for yourself?  Put in the time for yourself and for the education of your students regardless of the subject.  Every town has a few welders or at least those who can weld.  Find out from them who in town would be to best teacher to teach you.  The same goes for small engines, metal working, woodworking, and home construction trades.  Drive down most streets in your town and I guarantee many of the husbands have some Ag Mech equipment in their garage that they pull out from time to time.  Lean on these resources so that your students have these same skills for life.  Anything is better than lecture in an Ag class.  Students get enough of that in the 4 core subjects.  Agriculture is learning by doing, failing, and then doing it again.  There is no replacement for that.

Good luck with this and please let us know your thoughts.  Please follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter. Send us your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest handles and we'll be glad to follow as well. You can also contact me at brian@onelessthing.net




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