For my tenth birthday my parents turned our greenhouse into an aviary so I could raise birds. Our elementary school actually took field trips to our backyard to see all our pets and animals. These experiences ignited my passion for sharing agriculture.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Environmental Education at UC Davis and then earned my agricultural education teaching credential. It’s perfect for me. I like being in a small cohort because we each have our individual personalities and we all come together for one main goal. I have five new best friends now. Student teaching is one of the best opportunities I’ve had in my life—I love meeting new students and working with my master teachers.
I think every high school student should take an agricultural education class. For one thing, agriculture affects everyone in ways they don’t realize, and I want to increase awareness. And students get everything in ag ed that they would in a traditional college-prep or career-prep class but they also learn skills like time management, public speaking and leadership. Along with the traditional teaching in a classroom to learn the material, they’re out in the field or woodshop or barn applying those skills.
One of my best moments happened with a student who was struggling with a concept in class. He kept on pushing until the moment the light bulb switched on for him and you could see it on his face that he finally got it. But what made it even better was watching him go around to the other students who were struggling and teach them himself. It was a chain reaction from myself to a student to another student. It was a small picture of the potential impact I have as an educator.