Teacher Champion - Sarah Hansen
In this issue of our BCAITC Teacher Champion series, we profile BC teacher Sarah Hansen. Discover her passion for educating students about BC agriculture, food, and the environment.
Q: What school do you teach? A: Heritage Christian Online School.
Q: What grade(s) do you teach? A: I am an Individualized Support teacher for students in grades K-9. This means I support families who have chosen to homeschool through HCOS.
Q: How and when did you first learn about BCAITC? A: I first learned about BCAITC about 10 years ago through being a Cloverbud leader and from my brother involved in our local 4H club.
Q: How long have you been teaching students about BC agriculture and food? A: Before teaching, I was a Cloverbud leader and volunteer leader for camps such as Food for Thought with 4-H. These gave me self-learning opportunities and experience in teaching students about agriculture. Once I started teaching, I brought agricultural lessons to my classroom, including helping with a school garden, hatching ducklings, learning about seeds, and having a mobile milking parlour visit.
Q: What are the most important things that you want your students to learn about BC agriculture and food? A: I want my students to understand agriculture in BC, how their food is produced, and the effort that goes into producing it. Even though BC’s agriculture industry is diverse, I’ve found many students can only think of a handful of commodities our province produces. Also, I want to introduce them to different opportunities to be involved with BC agriculture, like scientists, land use planners and mechanics, besides the actual farming. I want them to know the people involved in BC’s agriculture are passionate about their work and hardworking.
Q:BCAITC has over 500 free downloadable resources including lesson plans, activities, videos, recipes, and more! What is your favourite BCAITC resource and why? A: There are so many good ones to choose from! I enjoyed using “Blossom’s Big Job Pollination” simulation. It gave such a tactile way to learn how pollination happens. It can be such an abstract concept for some students to grasp, and this activity presented it in a way that students could understand.
Q: What is your favourite BCAITC program and why? A: Spuds in Tubs! As families, I and students are excited and ready to learn more about potatoes and their growing process. I’m encouraging them to keep a growing journal to document the growth of their potatoes each day as a way to practice their observation and recording skills. I also enjoyed all the activities BCAITC had planned for Canadian Agricultural Literacy Month.
Q: Describe an agriculture or food-based project/program you have implemented in your classroom/school recently. A: In the fall, I did a unit with the K-2 students about apples and pumpkins. We explored their life cycles and looked at different ways to use them. Every spring, I share resources and activities with the homeschooling families about gardens and planting. This spring my class will participate in the Tomatosphere project and explore seed pods.
Q: Do you have any advice for other educators on how to integrate agriculture and food education into their curriculum? A: I would encourage other educators to start with the BCAITC website. It’s full of great resources and programs! I would recommend starting with something that excites you or that you want to learn about agriculture. Connect with people in your community who are involved in agriculture and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with students!
About the Teacher Champion Series: This monthly BCAITC series features BC teachers and school staff who are passionate about providing agriculture and food education to K-12 students. For more information, contact BCAITC Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.