At first, I thought I was in a health class. Students were asked numerous questions about nutrition and exercise. There were also questions about diseases, including prevention and cure.
The students were knowledgeable in their responses, so I felt confident that learning was occurring. But more questions were asked of students, and then I wasn’t so sure that I was in a health class.
OK, maybe it was a science class. Students were asked numerous biological questions about items such as the number of stomachs, location of body parts and more technical questions about the digestive system.
Again, the students were knowledgeable in their responses, and I continued to feel confident that learning was occurring. But there were more questions and, again, I wasn’t sure that I was in a science class.
The more questions that were asked, the more confused I was about where I was. There were business questions about net worth, profits and budgets; there were economic questions about supply and demand; and there were math questions in which students had to demonstrate knowledge about basic skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
At one point, I thought I was in a work experience class. Students provided evidence of contractual agreements and monthly monitoring of work hours. Then, I was confused again. Students were talking about the volunteer work and community service that they provide.
As I looked at the rubric used to evaluate the students’ work, I learned that their presentation had to include a demonstration of knowledge and understanding of health, science, business, economics, math, work experience and volunteerism. And, if that was not enough, students were also evaluated on their poise and presentation skills.
Where was I observing all of this evidence of student learning? It was at the recently held FFA Project Competition.
I had the pleasure of joining two former Fallbrook High School and agriculture department graduates, Darwin East and Leo McGuire Jr., in judging student projects. Each of us ended the day thoroughly impressed with the caliber of students in our schools.
Thank you, students, staff and community, for your past and current support of such a valuable educational program. Certainly, I was the student who learned the most at the Project Competition!