Info for Teachers

EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING ABOUT AGRICULTURE
A FLORIDA AWARDS PROGRAM
SPONSORED BY
FLORIDA AG IN THE CLASSROOM, INC. (FAITC)

WHAT IS AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM?

Agriculture is an important part of everyone’s life.  Clothing, food, fuel, housing, medicine, and much more are rooted in agriculture.   Agricultural issues can support the teaching of many academic disciplines.  Recognizing this, educators across the country are effectively integrating agriculture into the classroom curriculum.  The mission of Florida Ag in the Classroom, Inc. (FAITC) is to help teachers and students develop a better understanding of our multi-faceted agricultural system and its relationship to our economy, environment, health and quality of life.

WHAT IS AN OUTSTANDING TEACHER AWARD?

Four teachers will be recognized for their creative efforts to teach students about the importance of agriculture using concepts and materials from FAITC.  This will include teachers from the following four areas:

Elementary - Kindergarten through 5th grades (teachers integrating agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curricula)

Middle - 6th-8th grades (teachers integrating agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curricula)

High - 9th-12th grades (teachers integrating agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curricula)

Middle School Agriculture – 6th-8th grades (primary responsibility is teaching agricultural curricula)

Teachers selected will receive an all-expenses paid trip, along with their supporting administrator, to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, June 23-26, 2004 in Albuquerque, NM.  One of the four teachers will be nominated as the Florida representative for the National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture award.  If this teacher is selected as a national winner, they will receive an honorarium of $500; their trip will be paid for by the National Ag in the Classroom program and they will be specially recognized at the teacher recognition luncheon.  Therefore, FAITC will choose a runner-up in each category and if the Florida representative is selected at the national level, the runner-up will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the conference from FAITC. 

FAITC would like to recognize and celebrate the support given by administrators to facilitate the effective integration of agricultural education in classrooms.  For this reason, an administrator or administrator’s designee of each awardee will also receive the all-expenses paid trip to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference. 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Certified teachers currently engaged in classroom instruction at the K-12 grade level

Teachers integrating agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curricula

Certified agriculture teachers in classroom instruction at the 6-8 level

**This may be an individual teacher or a team of teachers (with a designated team leader).  Please note that only one award and free trip will be made per team.

** Previous winners of this award are not eligible for the award.

WHAT IS THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTION?

Teachers must utilize agricultural information and/or materials within the classroom curriculum in an effort to assist students in learning the importance of agriculture.  Learning activities may include but are not limited to an understanding of its impact on personal lives, our National heritage, the environment, National security and the economy.  Innovative and interdisciplinary programs are encouraged.

HOW WILL APPLICATIONS BE EVALUATED?
All applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges familiar with agriculture, education and Agriculture in the Classroom.  Panel members will be either a Florida Ag in the Classroom, Inc. board member or recommended by a Florida Ag in the Classroom, Inc. board member. Employees of Florida Ag in the Classroom, Inc. will not be panel members and panel members will not have a relationship to any nominees.

Entries will be judged in the following categories:

Evaluation Criteria Weight
a.  Creativity and Utilization of Agricultural Information --
The degree to which sound
agricultural concepts have been infused into the classroom curriculum. Reference should be made to the creative methods utilized in advancing student learning.

25 points

b.  Interdisciplinary Approach --
The degree to which agricultural concepts have been
included in a variety of subjects and disciplines. Value will be placed on the approach which teaches agriculture across the curriculum.          

25 points

c.  Advancement of Educational Standards --
The degree to which the nominee
aligns agricultural learning activities with State and/or national education standards.

25 pointss

 

g.  Student Impact --
Evidence of teacher’s impact on student attitudes and overall learning.   

25 points

 

HOW SHOULD APPLICATIONS BE SUBMITTED?

Application packets are to be completed by the nominee.  Application packets should  include the following information:

1.       A completed Application Form

2.       Prepare a summary description (no more than 250 words) of projects used to              
       implement agriculture in the classroom.  If selected to receive an award, this summary 
       will be posted on the FAITC webpage.

3.       A narrative response to the following three items (a, b, & c) listed below:

NOTE:

The narrative portion is limited to two (2) pages for each item
Each response must be typed on one side of the page only, using a font no smaller than 12 point, and double-spaced.  All margins must be at least one inch.  All pages must be paginated.  It should be noted that reviewers will not be required to read beyond the 6 pages of the narrative to evaluate the nomination (Two double-spaced pages, per item, with the appropriate heading as cited below).

a.  Describe your unique and innovative approaches to advancing agricultural literacy in your classroom.

b.  Identify the teaching methods you employed (i.e. experiential, case study, etc.).  Specify agricultural concepts taught and which academic areas of study were utilized.  What was the depth and duration of the activity?  Explain how these learning experiences helped advance State and/or National education standards.

c.
  Explain how these activities helped students better understand American agriculture’s impact on personal lives, our National heritage, the environment, National security and the economy.

4.        The following supporting documentation must be included:

a.       Endorsement by an Administrator – The degree to which a letter (signed and dated) by a school administrator substantiates the nominee’s excellence in and dedication to the teaching role.

b.      
Endorsement by a Co-worker -- The degree to which a letter (signed and dated) by a co-worker substantiates the nominee’s excellence in and dedication to the teaching role.

5.       Supplemental Information:

a.       Any additional information deemed essential for the nomination may be included in an Appendix – Such as additional letters of support, additional awards/recognition, etc. The appendix should not be used to expand the two page limitation of the narrative section.

b.       Colored photographs or other graphics that demonstrate your agriculture in the classroom activities.  NOTE:  We recommend you not submit video or cd-rom presentations.  However, if you choose to do so, please submit six copies and label each with your name and school.

**Please provide a statement of release for the use of photographs and other materials by USDA and other AITC programs in public forums, Internet dissemination, publications, etc.

Click here to view application form.
 

   


Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
CHARLES H. BRONSON, Commissioner
florida-agriculture.com