Maximizing SAE visits

So you have scheduled your SAE visits and are packing your truck to go to the first visit…

You have your coffee, water and snacks…which are arguably the most important if you work in a district without gas stations or restaurants like I did! 

You have the Summertime SAE Visit Questionnaire from the SAE Visit Pre-Work blog.

You have your school camera and you’re on your way.

You get to your first visit, look at the student’s vegetable garden, take a photo, ask about his SAE and get back into your truck to go to the next visit.

Fast forward to the school year, and that same student is interested in filling out a proficiency award. You ask them to record information about their SAE, their greatest challenge, their accomplishments and skills…the student looks blankly back at you.

You ask them to provide six photos…the blank face turns to confusion - “I was supposed to have photos?”

UHH! We’ve all been there. Even your best students with remarkable SAEs forget to document some of the key information needed to fill out that extremely long proficiency application. And there you are in January trying to figure out how you and that student are going to come up with six photos on vegetable production when there have not been plants in his garden for months.

After being burnt a couple times through proficiency applications, I began completing SAEs like every student was going to fill one out. I developed a SAE Visit Form that aligns with the proficiency awards and allows your students to reflect on their SAE each year and plan for the future. 

By focusing my SAE visits on really understanding the students’ SAEs and focusing on their accomplishments and skills developed through the project, I was able to gain a better understanding of their SAE project and the direction the student wanted to pursue. 

This new way of completing SAE visits also allowed me to better prepare the students for the proficiency award process which produced 35 state proficiency finalists over a span of six years, with 17 winning state and 10 becoming national proficiency finalists. 

Grab a copy of the SAE Visit Form here and start approaching SAE visits more strategically!