As 2014 wraps up and we look ahead to 2015, self-reflection is an important part of personal and professional development. It is a fun and great way to look back and see the progress you’ve made. And it also helps in planning for the future.
You can ask yourself:
- Did I achieve my goals for this year? Why or why not?
- What were my greatest obstacles this year?
- What was my biggest success? My biggest failure?
- Was there anything that fell flat and needs to be revamped?
- Was there anything that was really a home run?
- Did I enjoy myself this year? If not, what can I change in the year to come to make it more enjoyable?
- Do I have the resources I need? If not, what can I do to get them for next year?
- Did I have a good relationship with my coworkers, friends, and family this year? Why or why not?
- Are there new technologies that I could adopt next year to make my home or work life easier and more enjoyable?
For us, the past year has seen some challenges but many MANY successes too. The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation only launched in May of 2014, and we weren’t fully staffed until the end of July. Shortly thereafter we were meeting with county leaders, conducting workshops at the Iowa State Fair, and implementing a plan to help promote agriculture literacy throughout Iowa. On November 7, we held a workshop for Ag in the Classroom county coordinators and others interested in developing agriculture literacy in their local communities. Seventy passionate people came together to share best practices and learn from each other.
Some of the most fun that we had was working with teachers and students. We presented teacher workshops at the ICTM-ISTS conference and worked with 200 students at the STEM Festival in Ankeny. Students learned about the power of soybeans when they planted a seed in plaster of paris and the seed cracked the plaster.
I also have to be incredibly thankful for all of the support that we have received to date. Without partners who can stand alongside, the task can seem insurmountable. But, we are fortunate to have great partners and supporters representing all parts of the agriculture industry and the education world. So, to them I say a great big THANK YOU!
As I look ahead to the challenges of 2015 I can’t help but to get excited. This upcoming summer we are well on our way to establishing two day teacher professional development courses that will offer recertification credits. Part in classroom and part experiential, these dynamic workshops will help teachers incorporate agriculture into curriculum they are already teaching. This will help make learning come to life for students and make it very applicable to them. In addition to that, we will soon release our first issue of Iowa Agriculture Today or Ag Today – a student publication helping young learners make the connection between agriculture and their daily lives. Targeted toward 4th and 5th graders this interactive publication will be a great resource for teachers and great fun for students.
Those are just two of our upcoming projects. What else does the future have in store?!
If you want to be a part of our successes this upcoming year, consider making a gift to support agriculture literacy in Iowa.