A Success Story about Building Leadership Skills throughout a Nationwide Organization
Ambra Tennery, a team leader of Education Development and Assessment at the National FFA Organization, discusses the recent partnership the National FFA Organization engaged in with Growing Leaders. Through this partnership, Growing Leaders created the book “Habitudes – The Art of Telling Our Story” and the National FFA Organization implemented these new lessons in their chapters across the United States.
Ambra Tennery, Team Leader for Educational Development & Assessment, National FFA Organization: Most recently we were able to partner with Growing Leaders to write the book “Habitudes – The Art of Telling Our Story”, which is all about equipping our members to go out and tell the story of agriculture. Whether that is telling the story of agricultural education to agriculture as an industry, this book was really created to help our members; not only from the state officer and national officer perspective but all the way into the classrooms and all of the individuals we reach across the country. And so, it’s been a blooming partnership from the start and we really appreciate the folks that we get to work with, and it’s been a great relationship and we’ve learned a lot both ways.
So, the three pillars of our mission are premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success. By utilizing Habitudes, specifically “The Art of Telling Our Story” that we most recently partnered with, we’ve been able to utilize that tool to help fulfill our mission which ultimately reaches our vision as an organization. We’ve actually been able to distribute the Habitudes we call the “Teacher Kit” – it’s one teacher book, 20 of the student books, and a poster set – that’s actually been delivered to 800 FFA Chapters throughout the country, and it’s branched in to 49 of the states including Puerto Rico. So, it has had a significant outreach so far and we are looking forward to see where else those books can go and how many lives they can impact.
We’ve also implemented a Knowledge Assessment test, where we selected 50 teachers to help us with a pilot group just to determine the knowledge gain that students had. So, the teachers delivered a pre-and-post assessment and we saw a knowledge gain from the time before they to the time before they went through Habitudes to the time they finished with Habitudes. And just the comments that we’ve gotten from the teachers has been very positive; saying that “this has been a great resource”, “we can’t wait to use it more”, “I’m excited to use this with my Chapter officers and into my other classes as well”. It really has been very positive and we’ve seen gains, and look forward to the continued growth that we are going to experience.
As a past agricultural teacher, I wish I would have known about Habitudes. I was constantly trying to put quotes up on the board or infuse leadership to start off the day or end the day with my students, and that really just packages very nicely into Habitudes. And it’s a resource that is able to be implemented no matter what level of student it is and where they’re at and what their experience and their background is in their life. And so, taking an image where you can utilize the quote and you can utilize the picture to serve as that anchor as a classroom and to build your culture, there is nothing better than that. Because once you’ve established that, the knowledge and the technical skills you’re going to be able to teach your students is phenomenal.