Our November teacher feature is Amber Kriley. She has been teaching for five years and currently teaches third grade at Ogden Elementary school in Ogden, Kansas.
Throughout her childhood school years, Kriley had great teachers who inspired her to learn and pursue a career in education. Her own passion for learning and the desire help others learn is what ultimately led her to a career in education. Kriley grew up on her family farm that has been in her family for over a hundred years. She gained experience on her family farm with cattle, pigs and chickens, along with field crops such as milo and wheat. She still returns home to help with wheat harvest every summer. Along with her family farm, Kriley was actively involved in 4-H for eleven years and in FFA for four years.
Kriley priorities integrating agriculture into her classroom by using various activities throughout the year. An example of how she does this is teaching area and perimeter in math by designing farms, surrounding fields and pasture land. In her science classes, she teaches her students about different crops in different regions throughout the United States based on weather and climate. In social studies, her classes learn about different communities and how farming communities make their livings. She ends the school year by taking her class on a field trip to her family’s farm so her students can experience a farm, first-hand for a day. Her favorite KFAC lesson plan is “Celebrate Wheat” because it provides students with information about one of the most abundant crops in Kansas.
She believes her students enjoy learning about agriculture because they get to learn more about her agricultural background on a personal level, which builds a stronger classroom atmosphere. She also thinks it’s important for her students to learn about agriculture because they all have grown up in an agricultural community. Even if they don’t end up in a similar community in the future, everywhere and everything is impacted by agriculture. She wants her students to understand where their food comes from and how much hard work was put into it.
A piece of advice Kriley would offer others is to share your passion with your students in order to form a deeper connection with you. Kriley believes students become interested in topics that educators have a passion for, which is why her classroom model has thrived.