What does it take to be a teacher mentor? Who is your "go-to" person when you are searching for advice, lesson plans, or just a listening ear? Ag education is one profession that isn't short on individuals willing to share advice and provide guidance. Farrah Johnson is one of agricultural education's outstanding teacher mentors. Helping others has always been an important part of Johnson's life. As an agriculture teacher at Deltona High School in Deltona, Florida, Johnson uses her wealth of knowledge to help both preservice and current agriculture teachers develop their own outstanding programs.
"A complete agricultural education program comes down to rigor, relevance and relationships," said Johnson. "I encourage all who I mentor to work with their students in the wide scope of agriculture to try and find opportunities that excite and interest them."
Formally, Johnson has mentored three student teachers, two first-year teachers, 12 new teachers in Volusia County, and three former students who are now agriculture teachers. She also presents to new teachers at conferences and offers resources, advice, and lesson plans for any new teachers looking for guidance. In addition, Johnson works closely with alternatively certified teachers to help them gain a better understanding of the three-circle model of instruction for ag education.
"Working with alternatively certified teachers is much different than those who have come through a formal degree track," said Johnson. "To mentor, I must take their expertise and help them in areas where they have little to no experience."
Johnson provides encouragement to her mentees through emails, text messages, and advice. She is a proponent of Communities of Practice and welcomes any questions from any teacher.
Johnson was selected as the 2015 NAAE Region V Teacher Mentor award winner. The Teacher Mentor award is sponsored by CEV Multimedia. Click here to view the other 2015 Teacher Mentor award winners. For more information about this and our other awards, please visit this link.
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