VAAE Early Career Teachers' Conference
Posted on 08/11/2023
As a pilot program, through the Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators, the Early Career Teachers’ Dinner began in 2014 with approximately 20 attendees. Dr. Jessica M. Jones, Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at Tunstall High School, served as the dinner coordinator and facilitator. The goal at the time was to provide a format for early career teachers to connect, get to know each other, gather information and establish a system of Ag Teacher operation. To date, the annual program Dr. Jones oversees has blossomed into the Early Career Teachers Conference which effective July 2024, will become the Early Career Teacher Institute with 150 early career teachers eligible to participate. In addition to participating in interactive workshops and learning sessions, every new teacher to Virginia receives a classroom set-up gift bag. The gift bags contain the much needed supplies and resources a first-year teacher would need to set up their classroom including but not limited to posters, dry erase markers, office supplies, and a framed Ag Teacher’s Creed. Early career teachers returning to the Conference also receive a gift bag to replenish their classroom supplies as well as additional items to help teachers reflect and relax.