School: Lynn G. Haskin Elementary School, Sandwich
Grades: 2nd grade
Number of years teaching: 22
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I have taught Ag in the Classroom at Haskin, attended the Summer Ag Institute at the Farm Bureau, and I was a past Ag Literacy Ambassador for Haskin.
What is your favorite unit to teach? I really enjoy teaching the Pumpkin Unit from the Pumpkin Ag Literacy Kit that I borrow from Farm Bureau. I love teaching about the pumpkin growing cycle using paper plates, construction paper, and yarn to help the kids understand the steps in the process. To end the unit, we make Pumpkin Pie in a Bag as a treat to appreciate the pumpkins that are grown in Illinois.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy how 2nd graders can make connections on what we are learning in the classroom to their own world. I believe this is the best way to learn! Making these important connections help young minds think about their world and make it a better place to live and learn.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? I was amazed many years ago when I had a student think that milk came from the Walmart worker at the store instead of dairy cows. I have made it a priority to teach children about the ‘farm to table’ process since then. We can’t assume that children know this process and when we give them more opportunities to understand this process, they appreciate it more.
How do you inspire your students? I love to teach them the quote, “Be the Best You Can Be!” I like to repeat the phrase emphasizing the Y-O-U. We talk about giving our personal best and being proud of our work.
Family: Husband, Chris, and two children, Caleb (19) and Caroline (14)
College/Degree(s): Associate’s Degree from Waubonsee Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree from Aurora University, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Olivet Nazarene University.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a teacher!
Quote: “Be the best you can be!” Amy Gomes
Hobbies: Volunteering at church, reading books and magazines, spending time with family
Book: “Fewer Things, Better” by Angela Watson
Movie: “Mr. Holland’s Opus”
Travel destinations: Maui, HI; Madeira Beach, FL; Yosemite National Park, CA