Kellie Claflin

By choice or chance?

Blog Post created by Kellie Claflin on Mar 24, 2011

“I am an agriculture educator by chance, not choice.” –the Ag Teacher's Creed


When someone asks what I’m passionate about, it’s a simple answer. Agricultural education. Over the past couple months, I’ve been reflecting about why I chose to become an agriculture teacher. It goes back to sixth grade when we were given our choices for elective classes when we moved into the middle school. I remember picking Ag Science 3, which was a horticulture class. From there I fell in love with the fact that we were applying science concepts real-life and getting great hands-on experiences. I owe a lot to my own ag teacher, Mr. Boettcher, for providing great opportunities and being a supporter throughout my high school and college years. I feel like I’ve made a great choice!


As I write this (how I love technology!), I’m riding in a car on my way to River Falls for a meeting with fellow student teachers tomorrow on campus. A fellow student teacher and I came up with the following list of why we love coming to school every day and being involved in agricultural education. Check it out!


  • Seeing the lightbulb go on in their heads. Being able to see them make the connection and meet the objectives that you set. It’s even better to see them go a level further and use those higher-order thinking skills!
  • There’s never a dull moment. It’s an action-packed day from the moment you step in the classroom to the time you leave. Whether it’s helping FFA members get ready for a contest, planning lessons, running to get supplies or a funny moment in class, there’s always something that keeps you on your toes.
  • There are benefits to the classes you teach. Like having to taste test the projects in food science or spend time out in the greenhouse at the end of the day.
  • It’s an enjoyable to make a difference in a student’s life. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you were able to influence even just one student in a positive fashion.
  • Challenging their thoughts and getting them thinking and incorporating different learning activities to help students understand the concepts.
  • Having students open to you, whether it’s telling you about their day or about something in their life that relates to the content that you’re teaching.
  • The wide range of content areas – being able to experience everything from floriculture to food science to ag business. So cool!
  • Have to be quick on your feet because not everything goes as planned, whether it be technology, weather or
  • The people that you meet in Ag Ed are amazing. It’s such a great network! I met my best friends through Ag Ed and love knowing there are a great bunch of people that will support us new teachers as we continue our journey.
  • Every day is a new challenge.
  • The best part? Going to school each day and knowing that I wouldn’t want to be any other place in the world.