Thursday, February 23, 2012

FFA Week Challenge: I Believe in Respect

With the FFA Week challenge theme of "I believe in respect," the FFA Code of Ethics immediately came to mind.   I was thinking of all the ways that the FFA Code of Ethics* encourages members to demonstrate respect. There are three places in this code of ethics expressing respect:
  1. "Showing respect for the rights of others and being courteous at all times."
  2. "Respecting the property of others."
  3. " Respecting the opinion of others in discussion."
I would like to believe that these ideas are common sense, but I am realizing that sometimes, as the saying goes "Common sense isn't all that common."  As a teacher, I try to express and demonstrate the value of respecting others, their thoughts and their property. It is a key to being good citizens. As an FFA advisor, I encourage my members to respect and appreciate each other.  They in turn have the chance to model these ideals for others.

Although the FFA Code of Ethics was prominent on my mind, as I scrolled my Facebook wall prior to writing this post, a share from a US Department of Education Teacher Ambassador fellow and friends, Maryann Woods-Murphy caught my eye because it too had the phrase RESPECT in it.  She had shared a link about the launching of Project RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching) which has the goal of getting teachers actively engaged in rebuilding the profession and encouraging teachers to be innovators and demonstrate their leadership skills. As I review the concept, I see great potential for the profession. However, as an agricultural educator, I view some of those ideas, such as competitive pay based on student achievement, a challenge. So as I conclude today's blog, Agricultural Educator friends, I issue a few questions to you:
  • How can we help people foster respect for the idea that although a course may not gain academic credit it still provides students with needed life skills and helps apply academics in a hands-on setting?
  • What can we do to help people garner a greater appreciation for the value of what we teach?

*Note:  Clicking on the "Code of Ethics" link will actually bring you to a lesson plan for presenting the Code of Ethics to students.

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