What happens in Vegas…

Okay, let’s be honest with ourselves. We’re talking about me here. There is more than one person who will tell you that I go to bed too early, am too much of a tight-wad and am pretty much too much of a lame-o to ever go get wild and crazy while I’m in Vegas. So, don’t be expecting any Hangover-style experiences.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t plan to have fun!

On Sunday (that’s right, T minus 2 days!), I will be heading to Las Vegas as a part of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) staff for their national convention. During convention, NAAE will be recognizing agricultural educators from all across the country for the amazing work they do with students day in and day out — how cool is that? I’m going as a last activity for my internship with NAAE, which I did this past summer in Lexington, Ky. I’m super excited and can’t wait to see everyone from the office and meet a bunch of new people!

Another cool thing is that this year’s convention is being held in conjunction with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) convention. I follow them on Twitter and they are definitely doing some great things for career and technical education (what historically has been known as vocational education). What’s even cooler is that ACTE has asked me — me! — to serve as a guest blogger during the convention. I’ll be posting photos and overviews of what I’m learning, convention activities and all of our award winners. Check out their blog here to see what I’m up to!

Thanks to working, you can be pretty much guaranteed I won’t be making nightly visits to the Pussycat Dolls or every casino up and down the strip. However, I have made it my personal mission to visit the Pawn Stars pawn shop — check back to see how that goes 🙂

What happens when Twitter-loving ag teachers get together…

It’s always amazing what happens when people with similar interests get their brains together and something truly awesome happens. I watched from the outskirts as the AgChat Foundation board made an amazing conference come together with #ACFC10 in August. Inspired with what we learned there, Drew Bender and I put our own brains together and started a chat for people near and dear to our hearts — ag teachers.

Drew is an ag teacher in Ohio and, as many of you know, I’m an agriscience education student at Michigan State. After attending #ACFC10 and having several conversations about the first few years of ag teaching, Drew posed the question, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a chat, like #agchat, that was for ag educators and helped answered questions that many of us ask from time to time?” That idea soon morphed into what would become #AgEduChat. I’m so honored that Drew would think to ask me to join him in creating the conversation and am extremely proud of what it’s become in just a few short months.

#AgEduChat is held every other Sunday from 7:00 to 8:30 pm EST. We invite ag teachers and those who have an interest in ag education to join us and talk about issues that come up in and outside of the classroom. In our first two chats, we talked about challenges facing beginning teachers and how to balance the three circle model (classroom/lab instruction, FFA and SAE). The possibilities for new topics is never-ending, though!

You can learn more by visiting the #AgEduChat Facebook page, following @AgEduChat on Twitter or talking to Drew (@drewbender) or me (@sollmana). New visitors to the chat are always welcome! We truly hope that bringing teachers from across the country together will help us network and get support for the challenges (and accomplishments!) we face everyday.