Educator Spotlight: Melody Weatherford, 2017 AAFCS Teacher of the Year Merit Finalist

By AAFCS Team posted 09-01-2017 12:00 AM

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Making a Difference
:  "FCS - An "App"-etizing Start to Your Future"

This edition spotlights Melody Weatherford, CNWE, as one of the AAFCS 2017 Teacher of the Year Merit Finalists! Through the Nutrition courses in her program, this Family and Consumer Sciences educator motivates students to focus on healthy food choices and innovative food preparation techniques.

Program Focus:
The Foods and Nutrition Program of the FCS Department at Wren High School is an integral component of the school. The program focuses on heavily utilizing technology, innovative activities and the latest in nutrition information to prepare students to be responsible, creative, resourceful, and healthy individuals. The classes create “Tasty” style cooking videos on their iPads, complete webquests, use iMovies to create healthy eating commercials and proper etiquette videos, use the ToonTastic App to create kitchen safety cartoons, and use Pic Collage to create charts and posters on a range of topics from celiac disease to famous chefs and travel brochures for global foods. While studying nutrition, students create a collage on “Eat This, Not That”; a fast food comparison that we post in the hallways to educate other students on making healthier choices when eating out. The classes also use Kahoot, Quizizz and Quizlet Live for review. Students utilize Showbie and Notability for class notes and Google Forms and Google Classroom for quizzes and assignments. The program helps students see that decisions they make today will impact their health now and in the future. Teaching food preparation skills, safety and sanitation with creative techniques and technology helps students to retain that information for years to come. No matter which level of Foods or whether the class is using technology or good old fashioned creative activities, the key to the success of the Foods and Nutrition program has been to keep students interested by making the learning relevant to their lives today and in the future. Students also enjoy taking their skills out of the classroom for community service.

In all areas of the program, the curriculum focuses on the principles of nutrition wellness. Helping students see that decisions they make today impact their health now and in the future. Teaching food preparation skills, safety and sanitation with creative techniques and technology helps students to retain that information for years to come. Specifically, the program aims to: (1) use technology in the FCS classroom to engage and motivate students to make healthy choices for their lives now and in the future; (2) promote wellness, healthy lifestyles, and food preparation skills for students and their future families; (3) promote Family and Consumer Sciences in our school and community

School/Community Setting
Wren High School is in a rural, bedroom community of Greenville in Anderson County, South Carolina. This is the fastest growing area of the state and new students are constantly moving into the school district. The community has more farms and subdivisions yet fewer grocery stores than the neighboring communities. The community is also economically diverse from low income families to very affluent families. Over the last twenty-two years, the Family & Consumer Sciences program, and specifically the Foods and Nutrition program, has grown to the point where the classes are over their maximum number of students. There are currently two FCS teachers at the school. I teach all the foods and nutrition classes and the other teaches a combination of child development, family life and housing and interior design.

Why did you "Say Yes to FCS"?
I said YES to FCS because I love teaching in a field that is so applicable to real life! The subjects we teach are topics our students will use every day of their lives. I also love to see a young person learn or create something new. It is so rewarding to see a student years later and they tell you what an impact you had on their life and how they use daily what they learned in your class.