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On Point with Pat - 2016 Outstanding Teacher!

Category: On Point with Pat

We are pleased to announce Karla Stroet as our Outstanding Teacher for 2016!

 

Each year BC Agriculture in the Classroom acknowledges a teacher that is an ambassador for agriculture education. They are leaders in agriculture professional development for teachers, initiators of school agricultural projects, lessons, and initiatives. They are people who make it a priority for their students to learn about food and farming in our province.

We are pleased to acknowledge Karla Stroet as our 2016 outstanding teacher. Karla is a grade 2 teacher at Terry Fox Elementary School in Abbotsford.

Karla grew up in a rural area in Smithers where her family grew a large garden. She wants to be able to share that same experience with her students. She started by bringing her students to our BC Agriculture in the Classroom program, The Pencil Patch – A Garden for Learning. The field trips to the garden have had a huge impact on her students. Many of them have never had the opportunity to visit a farm, or see how their food is grown, so the visits are full of Ah Ha moments! One student was most excited about finding a worm in the soil which led to a lesson on composting, and the discovery of other bugs provided an opportunity to learn about integrated pest management.  They were amazed by the big carrots they grew themselves and how good and sweet they were. That all led to a lesson on the importance of protecting the Agriculture Land Reserve to grow food and to have gratitude for farmers.

“They learn so much from taking part in the whole process of growing, from seeding to weeding, but their favourite trip is harvesting their salad and visiting the goats!” Karla remarked. This year there were two Syrian and Iraqi refugees in her class and they were so wide eyed by all they learned in the garden. Karla said, “To see their faces you can appreciate the outstanding impact of that experience!”

In her school Karla initiated a school wide agriculture project. Together the teachers and students planted, maintained and harvested 3 Harvest Bin gardens. Each class maintained the garden for a week and in June there was a huge harvest party when students ate salad and took bags of fresh greens home for their families. The new BC Curriculum is full of requirements for inquiry based learning and experiential learning - agriculture programs are great for achieving that. Kids love to get their hands dirty and are so satisfied with their accomplishments.

Karla also wants farmers know that teachers are thankful for the tremendous product sent to schools through the BC School Fruit and Vegetable and Milk Program, which gives teachers the opportunity to talk about the benefits of BC grown.

Karla is a champion teacher, an ambassador of agriculture education not only with her students but with her colleagues as well. Her dedication and infectious enthusiasm for Agriculture make her an outstanding teacher of the year.

Congratulations Karla Stroet!