Katie Greenwood, agriculture teacher at Cedaredge High School, is one of 21 individuals nationwide who was selected to participate in the 2018 XLR8 Institute -- a professional development program which began at the National Association of Agricultural Educators' annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 28-Dec. 1.
The XLR8 program was developed by NAAE as a means to help agriculture teachers in their seventh to fifteenth years of teaching address common issues that lead to them leaving the profession, such as burnout, work/life balance, and stagnant professional growth. The program's goal is to accelerate the selected teachers' careers through year-long professional development.
Selected participants engaged in rigorous professional development sessions at the NAAE convention. Topics that were addressed included setting priorities, work-life balance, and moving careers and agriculture programs forward over the next several years. This year's cohort will continue their experience throughout the upcoming year with virtual learning experiences, online collaboration through the NAAE professional learning community, Communities of Practice, and by connecting through a variety of social media tools.
The goal is not only to retain XLR8 participants in the teaching profession, but to give them the tools to help other mid-career teachers. The XLR8 program is sponsored by CSX and Herman and Bobbie Wilson as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) is the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators. It provides its nearly 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is "professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service." The NAAE headquarters are in Lexington, Ky.