A senior high school football player enrolled in Kaylee Calvin’s student teaching classes at Maryville High let her know at the outset that he was taking her class because he “did it for an easy A.”

The young man had just met Calvin, a 2016 Elsberry High graduate, so he couldn’t have known that he’d be able to select his own project in shop class as a means of motivating him toward success.  His choice was not a simple one.  

He wanted to build a one-man deer hut.

Calvin was reminded plenty early by the football player and many others during her student teaching efforts of an important piece of the teaching puzzle -- listening to and responding to the needs of her students.  

Calvin happily has landed a job as FFA sponsor and VoAg teacher at Clopton High School for the 2020-2021 school year.  Already deeply vested in her students, the first-year teacher has met with a large number of FFA members while checking in on locations of students’ Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE).  An SAE project of reasonable magnitude is a cornerstone of a student’s involvement in the Ag Ed program.

Calvin’s first impression of her new pupils has been more than just a little favorable.  Clopton’s “kids are welcoming.  They’ve been very nice to me.  Several families have even had me over for dinner.”   What a great way to start a school year.

Among the many experiences the young teacher will have during the year ahead include the ones she has started enjoying the most, such as “learning about my students, getting to know the community, and meeting new people.”  The busy young woman has already met with over 30 students in recent days.

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Elsberry graduate Kaylee Calvin works at cleaning and pulling up weeds to get ready for planting season with her AgEd students.

After having spent many years in EHS’s FFA program, Calvin brings with her valuable experiences, top-notch talents, and colorful learning opportunities. Her intense enthusiasm for her current job is abundantly obvious to all who meet her.  

And what of the graduating football player enrolled during Calvin’s student teaching?   He did indeed complete his deer-hut project while meeting the high expectations that did not translate to an “easy A” by any stretch of the imagination.  

The best part of the  story came at the end with the senior’s positive feelings about his project, the program, and himself.  “I wished I had more time to take your other classes,” he commented to Ms. Calvin with a wide grin.