This post is part of the November 2019 Teach Ag Times e-newsletter.
Agriculture teachers wear many different hats. From teachers to coaches and everything in between, it is important to find a hobby or niche that will allow you to detox from the hectic life of an ag teacher and help define you as an individual. This month, meet Alan Green, agriculture teacher at Unionville-Sebewaing Area Schools, in Michigan, and find out which hat he puts on after his teacher cap comes off.
Q: What is your favorite part of being an ag teacher?
A: My favorite part about being an ag teacher is working with students who haven't been able to find their niche in other classes quite yet. I get to work with some of the best students in the world, who sometimes have a hard time connecting with other classes and other teachers. Working with and building relationships with these students motivates me to continue to teach.
Q: What is your favorite hobby outside of teaching?
A: My favorite hobby outside of teaching is woodworking! I find working out in the woodshop to be relaxing and therapeutic, and it helps me clear my head. I am currently trying to grow my woodworking business to make products and furniture for customers.
Q: How do you make time to focus on your hobby? How often do you “do” your hobby?
A: I really try to be intentional with my time and dedicate a few nights each week to work out in the woodshop. I didn't do this as much last year, and I found that I wasn't spending as much time out in the woodshop as I wanted, and as a result I wasn't growing my skill set or advancing my business. I try to "do" my hobby at least a few nights a week.
Q: How does your hobby help motivate you to be a better teacher?
A: Working out in the woodshop helps me clear my head and also gives me a place and time to generate new ideas for my classes, my students, and our program. It's also given me an easy way to connect to students who are also excited about woodworking.
Q: What advice would you give to new and aspiring ag teachers about finding a hobby?
A: Do it. In order to be a successful ag teacher, you need a mentor and you need a hobby. Having a hobby that's completely unrelated to agricultural education will benefit your mental health and your time management.