Certainly looking forward

Certainly looking forward

Apr 15
Shelby Cooper, Senior in Agricultural Science Education

I like to look ahead. I keep dates and assignments in my calendar year-round, and I love having something to look forward to. This summer I’m looking forward to a great job with National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) and traveling with Agriculture Future of America. After that, the next big thing is student teaching in the spring of 2016, and along with that comes a lot of uncertainty.

Every teacher goes through student teaching, the process of preparing lesson plans and assessments, organizing content for a semester of various ag classes, and developing materials to teach science and leadership to classes of high school students. For me, I feel the professors in Agricultural Education have done a great job of preparing my class of students thus far in curriculum, analysis, and reflection. However, there’s only so much they can do. At a certain point, it’s up to us to take on an agriculture program of our own.

That’s where a lot of my uncertainty comes in. Not having come from an agricultural background, it’s true there’s a great deal that I don’t know within the agriculture industry. In terms of teaching, I’ve never taught a semester-long class before, much less 4-6 classes in various agriscience topics. Will I be able to balance my time? Will I be a credible role model for students? Will I ever learn how to weld or judge a dairy cow??

Even with all of the uncertainty that comes with student teaching, I am comforted by my fellow classmates going through the same process. We share the desire to teach, and to teach not only content, but to also inspire purpose and passion for the future of agriculture. I know that when I leave campus to student teach, I will be prepared for the position of ‘Ms. Cooper’ and all the responsibility that comes along with it. The industry relies on educators to prepare the next generation of great minds in innovation and agricultural technology. It’s going to be my job to make connections from agriculture to applicable events in daily life, and create meaningful experiences for high school students. I’m looking forward to it; that, I am certain of.