This is an article from the June 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.
How many of us walked into our first teaching position interview and mentioned making a positive difference in the lives of students? As agriculture teachers, we all want to leave an impact. We want to be the reason our students go on to achieve greatness in the agriculture industry. We want to walk the halls of our schools with pride, knowing that we have made a lasting impression.
There’s a good chance we know this feeling because someone instilled it in us. Somewhere along the line, there was a mentor who profoundly influenced our career choice and led us to where we are today. Who mentored you during your preservice teacher years? Who left that lasting impact on your life?
For at least 12 student teachers in Oklahoma, Melinda Tague, agriculture teacher at Norman High School, in Norman, Okla., has made a difference in their lives as they have developed into the professionals they are today.
“As a host for ag education student teachers, each day offers the opportunity to help develop their classroom management and lesson development skills,” said Tague. “While observing student teachers, I am able to make note of good qualities the student teacher exhibits in classroom management and lessons, and also offer ideas for better ways to handle discipline, management, or lesson quality.”
Tague is the quintessential mentor for Oklahoma student teachers, as she makes them an integral part in the entire agriculture program. She shows the student teachers how to make a difference in the lives of students by incorporating them into all aspects of her agriculture program, both within and outside of the classroom walls.
Tague involves her student teachers in her students’ Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. This opportunity allows the student teachers to see what goes into an agriculture program beyond the walls of the classroom. Tague also has her student teachers become an active part of local and state FFA events.
“Student teachers take on the task of training Career Development Events (CDE), overseeing local FFA meetings and planning local FFA events,” added Tague. “They will travel with all CDE teams, livestock events, and leadership activities.”
Tague also encourages her student teachers to be involved in professional organizations. From membership in the Oklahoma
Association of Agricultural Educators and NAAE, to serving as Chairman of the Practical Arts Department at her high school, she shows them the importance of involvement in professional organizations for leadership development and professional growth.
So who was your mentor? Who helped you decide to make a lasting impact on the lives of students? Think of that person and think of how you can help others and serve as a mentor in agricultural education. You can make a difference in not only the lives of your students, but in the lives of future educators as well.
The Teacher Mentor Award is sponsored by CEV Multimedia. For more information about the Teacher Mentor Award and to see the other regional award winners, including pictures and press releases, follow this link.