This post is part of the September 2019 Teach Ag Times e-newsletter.
Teaching agriculture is the BEST. CAREER. EVER. This month, meet Greg Schneider, an agriculture teacher who has been in the classroom for 29 years. Find out how he has developed personally and professionally and get some great advice to use as you embark on your own #TeachAg journey.
Q: What schools have you taught at?
A: Greensburg Community High School, Greensburg, IN (August, 2015 - Present)
Southwestern High School, Hanover, IN (August, 1991 - August 2015)
Q: How long have you been teaching agriculture?
A: This year make year number 29.
Q: What is your favorite class/topic to teach?
A: Animal Science and Natural Resource Management
Q: Which universities did you receive your teaching degrees from?
A: BS - Western Kentucky University,1990
MS - Indiana University Southeast, 1998
Q: What has been the most difficult challenge you have had to overcome as an ag teacher?
A: As an agriculture teacher, time is your most precious resource and agriculture teacher responsibilities extend well beyond the school day. Maintaining a work/life balance is a constant challenge. There is an axiom in education: “Teachers can’t fill their students' cups if their own pitcher is empty.” Be sure to take time for yourself!
A: The most rewarding part of being an ag teacher is being a part of students' lives well beyond graduation. Some students maintain steady contact and become important program supporters. Some of my most rewarding conversations start with a 40-something year old adult coming up to me and asking, “Mr. Schneider, do you remember me?” You just never realize the true impact you have on the lives of your students...and the impact your students have on you!
Q: What has been your most memorable experience as an ag teacher?
A: This is a hard question to answer as there are many memorable experiences. The best experiences are those in which students are able to develop the confidence necessary to step outside their comfort zones and they grow right before your eyes. Those are definitely “Proud Teacher” moments that I will always cherish and remember.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you can give an aspiring ag teacher?
A: Plan on giving any occupation, especially teaching, at least three years before deciding if it is the right fit for you. The first year you will just try to keep your head above water; the second year you will begin to make tweaks and figure out what works for you; and the third year you will make the job your own. That said, never teach the same year twice. Keep your content and teaching strategies vibrant and ever-changing.
Interested in learning more about the BEST.CAREER.EVER? Follow this linkto the Teach Ag website to learn more about how you can begin your path to making a positive difference in the lives of students and their communities each and ever day!