Agriculture Teacher, Metro Moore County High School
2014 NAAE Region V Teacher Mentor Award Recipient
Teacher mentors are one of the driving forces that help new teachers stay motivated. They develop others' teaching careers by giving their time and expertise to help with questions and bumps along the road. An excellent example of the kind of leadership and inspiration that a good mentor provides is the 2014 NAAE Region V Teacher Mentor award recipient, Tommy Beavers.
Beavers has been teaching agriculture for over 33 years. He is currently the agriculture teacher at Metro Moore County High School in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Over the course of his successful career he has been a mentor to ten student teachers and one practice teacher. In addition, nine of his students have also gone on to become middle school and high school teachers in a variety of subjects.
"Mr. Beavers exudes the characteristics of a great mentor. Not only does he have a successful agriculture program, which he singlehandedly built, but I have personally witnessed him drop everything to help a fellow agriculture teacher. Mr. Beavers is a great role model for agriculture teachers," said Danice Shout, agriculture teacher at Fayetteville City High School in Fayetteville, Tennessee.
Beavers' career has allowed him to develop one of the most successful single-teacher agriculture programs in the state of Tennessee. His students have won numerous awards and recognition at the local, state, and national levels for their SAE projects and other endeavors. He has spent the majority of his career transitioning the program from agricultural mechanics to a "dual-focused" program. A greenhouse facility was constructed in 1987, and more recently a hydroponics system has been added -- both of which have allowed many more learning opportunities for his students.
Thanks to his experience with building an agriculture program from the ground up, he takes his role as a teacher mentor very seriously. Beavers keeps in contact with his former student teachers after their training with him is over, to provide them with guidance and advice as they begin their careers as agriculture teachers.
"Staying in touch with my student teachers has enabled me to serve as a source of information and advice for them, even after they have secured their own teaching position and FFA chapter," said Beavers.
This continued contact has helped his former student teachers to become award winners in the profession as well. Their accomplishments include having their programs recognized as NAAE's Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program, and being recognized themselves as Outstanding Young Members, as well as being selected for the Teachers Turn the Key and Ideas Unlimited awards.
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