I almost hate to admit it, but I didn’t really grasp the meaning the those Start Seeing Motorcycles signs that you see posted everywhere. I hadn’t really given it much thought until one day I happened to ask my husband Dusty what the slogan meant. Of course, he knew (He’s a very smart guy!) and he told me that the signs were meant to remind drivers to give motorcycles the same consideration in traffic that they would give to other motor vehicles. The purpose of the Start Seeing Motorcycles campaign is, of course, to promote safety for motorcycle riders. It makes perfect sense to me now. I’ve borrowed the Start Seeing Motorcycles logo and slogan to emphasize today’s #Save FACS suggestion for improving the public image of your FACS program.
One of the most common criticisms of FACS is that our curriculum has not kept pace with the times. Of course, as FACS professionals, we know that that assessment simply isn’t true. Unfortunately, the stigma remains and it will take more than passionate denial to change public perception. We must DO everything we can to prove that our profession is relevant and that the concepts and skills we teach are necessary in today’s lifestyle.
So today I want to encourage you to start identifying connections to the FACS curriculum in every aspect of your daily life. When you read the newspaper, make note of articles that deal with FACS concepts. Rarely do we go through an entire news cycle without a story about a contaminated food, a new nutritional discovery, a controversy over some celebrity’s parenting style, etc. News stories with content related to the FACS curriculum abound on television, in print media and on line. These snippets of information represent a verifiable link between the FACS curriculum and what’s happening in our society on any given day, yet how many times do we simply let them pass with barely a thought given to their validity or usefulness to FACS instruction.
Why not set aside some time once a week to discuss the FACS headlines of the week? You could ask students to bring in articles or share things they’ve heard that pertain to the topics you’re discussing in class. However, I wouldn’t rely on their participation to get the discussion going. Keep a file of news headlines that catch your attention and share and discuss them with your students. The validity and accuracy of the information that was shared in the story could stimulate some interesting discussion.
You might also create a bulletin board of FACS headline stories in a visible spot in your school or classroom. Set up a Twitter account and share the news stories with your followers. Share your news “clippings” through your other social media outlets. Don’t be afraid to share your FACS knowledge by disputing the accuracy of the story content. The world is talking about FACS-related topics all the time, are you?
In short, use the constant stream of media information and misinformation to elevate the status of your program and your professional image. Start seeing FACS connections! They’re everywhere if you’ll just train yourself to look for them.