Teacher of the Year Brings Her Passion for Agriculture into ClassroomWed, 01 Apr 2015 14:32:44 CDT
Barns aren't the only place for animals. A Coyle Elementary teacher believes they also belong in the classroom. Connie Whitmore, a 26-year veteran educator has been bringing agriculture into the classroom for more than a decade. She was honored Wednesday as the Ag in the Classroom 2015 Teacher of the Year during Ag Day at the state capitol.
Whitmore was honored for her ability to incorporate agriculture into lots of different activities in her classroom. Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Mrs. Whitmore. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
For years Whitmore has taught Kindergarten but currently she teaches Pre-K. She said her class has lot of fun as she often has live animals in their classroom and her class also dresses up as farmers. In her classroom, agriculture is not treated as a theme for a week or two, but is rather integrated into all subject areas. She finds this is a great age to work with as they don't have any preconceived ideas, her students are interested in agriculture and they really enjoy the hands on activities.
In participating in the Ag in the Classroom program, Whitmore said this is a tremendous resource especially for teachers that aren't involved in agriculture and want to bring that into their classroom. She believes this is one area, everyone should be interested in as everyone eats at least three times a day.
"If you're eating, you are in agriculture and so it's very important for our future generations to know where their food comes from and how it gets here and what's involved in getting their food to the table," Whitmore said.
Whitmore is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and an alum of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program Class IX. She is also involved in agriculture outside the classroom, so she understands why it is important that today's youth understand where their food comes from. Whitmore said the Ag in the Classroom program is vital to the future of agriculture and she wants to educate youth to become informed voters, so legislation doesn't prevent farmers and ranchers from doing their job in growing food for the world.
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