"Work Hard. Be Kind." These are the words that are painted above the front door of my school and are also the school motto. They are simple, yet powerful, and define what we do each and everyday as ag teachers.
Work Hard. There are very few educators who work harder than ag teachers. From putting in extra hours after school and on weekends with our FFA chapters and all that they entail, to preparing for upwards of 5 different classes each day, we know about hard work. Our classes and students demand large amounts of attention and energy, and keep us in constant motion. We are always preparing and planning for bigger and better things for our ag programs at FFA chapters, and are constantly finding ways and time to improve ourselves as educators. Why do we work so hard? We do it because we love our jobs and to us, the hard work is worth it.
We also teach our students the value and importance of hard work. From SAEs to CDEs, FFA allows our students to reap the rewards and benefits of working hard. We demand that they work hard in our ag classes as well, and the good grades and life skills that they gain as a result are things they can use for their futures. In addition, we also set the example for them show them that hard work is what is needed if they want to achieve their goals in life.
Be Kind. Ag teachers are also some of the kindest people you will ever meet. They care SO much about their students, programs, FFA chapters, and communities, and they let it show. Maybe this kindness has evolved because ag teachers spend their days dealing with so many different types of people, or maybe it's because they just really are happy with their jobs. Perhaps it's a combination of both. As ag teachers, we rely on many different people to make our programs and FFA chapters function and run smoothly. Without the support of our students, co-workers, administrators, parents, and community members, we wouldn't be able to get much done. By being kind to these people, we show our gratitude for their help, and make them want to continue to work with us. We also show our kindness to our students as well. Ag teachers get to know their students far better than most other types of teachers, and we spend so much time with them through ag classes and FFA. Not every kid is enjoyable to work with and be around, but by being nice to all of our students (even the ones that drive us nuts), they know that we really do care about them and their well being.
In turn, we also teach our students to be kind to others by setting the example. FFA shows our students that being kind to others is essential for success. It's even stated in the closing ceremonies line with the phrase "courteous to everyone". If our members and officers are not courteous and kind to others, nobody will want to work with them and the chapter will not succeed. By showing them the importance of being kind to everyone, they can see that a little kindness can go a long way in getting people to cooperate and get things done.
Keep working hard and being kind. Even though it's tough sometimes, working hard and being kind are what we need to do to succeed in life. As ag teachers, we know this and keep doing these things day in and day out even when it's tough. Our dedication to working hard and being kind is what makes us such unique and amazing educators, and this quality we possess is one of the reasons I consider myself lucky to be an ag teacher. Have a great time at National FFA Convention to all those who are attending and look for S'Morey soon. In the meantime, work hard, be kind, and continue to be the awesome ag teachers that you are!