National Association of Agricultural Educators XLR8 Program designed for educators in their 7th through 15th year of teaching.
Our past NJAAE President, Jennifeur Wilson, shares her personal perspective on why it is a beneficial professional development experience.
I still feel participating in XLR8 has been the best decision I have made. I gained a
perspective shaped from experiences that challenged me to my core and
afforded opportunities for growth like none other. Coming up through FFA
and feeling internal direction to teach, Agricultural Education was a
natural choice. Seemingly impossible at first, I soon found my self in a
supportive community among the like minded and the kind hearted much
like I experienced in FFA. And much like FFA, the opportunities to
receive State and National recognition for developing as a professional
were endless. The door swung wide and I indulged. It was close to my
seventh year in my career that I earned the opportunity to fly to Las
Vegas during the school year for XLR8 training, and along side some of
the best teachers in our country face the cold hard truth that I put my
career before every other aspect of my life. I didn't accept it at
first. I was recognized by my district as teacher of the year and
revisited the reality that I was the hardest working teacher in the
school. I knew I had to do something, and began taking baby steps toward
getting my life back. In the process, I lost the relationship I was in
and nearly 70 of the 80 pounds I had gained. I wouldn't be where I am
today if I hadn't initially failed, experienced success and fought to
get it all back. XLR8 was a wake up call.