Student teaching at Greenwood Middle-High School with Michael Clark and Krista Pontius was truly an honor. Never have I met such dedicated, passionate and down-to earth people. I have learned so much about teaching from them, and the importance of putting you students and community first. I have met so many wonderful people who are equally driven towards student success and I am inspired to go forth and be the best agriculture teacher I can be.
Aside from the lesson planning, the grading and general ins and outs of being a teacher, I have gained valuable experience in internship on being a positive advisor and mentor for my students. In addition to these things, I have learned many other things from Mike and Krista you may never find on a teacher evaluation. Some of my best life lessons from Greenwood-
Stop saying you can't, and start saying you will
Teaching is not easy, and not for the faint of heart. I am so fortunate to have had people who invested in me and helped me to grow. When I felt defeated, all I had to do was look at what I could control and start there.
It is the duty of the teacher to plant a tree in whose shade you will never sit in
I wasn't ready to say goodbye to my students. I hope to keep in touch with them through the years, but undoubtedly, you may never know the impact you've had on someone that has gone through your classes. You just love them while you have them and hope for the best.
You will never learn to lead, if you never learn to follow
Its been said, if you are the brightest person in the room, you need to meet new people. I was fortunate to have learned so much from Mike and Krista during my time at Greenwood. They are leaders in their profession, but you will never convince either one of that! They truly embody the sense of servant leaders who put those they have charge over ahead of themselves. They always lead from behind!
Teachers serve so much more than just their school
Mike and Krista never seem to catch a break. They have taught me how to be diligent in effort towards investing in your community. A good chapter is not without wheels. Greenwood's FFA is active in the community and the teachers make it their mission to serve their community beyond the walls of the classroom.
See a need, fill a need
If there is ever a job to be done, Mike and Krista are the first to raise their hands. From cooking food for an entire PAAE event, to picking up trash along the highway, to helping Mr. Rupert get his truck out of a ditch. Anytime there is a need, they are there to pitch in. I hope to carry the same drive for service into my professional journey as they do.
No Experience is a Bad One
I am someone who likes to stick with what they know. I've learned through my time at Greenwood that failure is an awesome teacher, and that even a bad experience is still experience. Mike and Krista are always willing to try new things, even if it doesn't turn out.
If you can't laugh, then what's the sense
We have had tons of those "moments" at Greenwood this year, all in signature Ryan Rupert fashion! We made it though with plenty of laughs, because if you can't laugh in life, then what kind of life are you living? This job can make you almost cry at times, but my hope is that it will always bring more smiles than tears.
Always make something better than when you found it
I had an ugly green shirt that I hated because it looked like a 1950s shower curtain to me. It was a pale and faded pistachio green dress shirt I got at a Goodwill store. One day, Krista got me a beautiful green and silver checkered tie that really makes the outfit. I appreciated the gift, but it really hit me. You can look at something and call it ugly, or you can make the best of it and perhaps it will turn out beautiful in the end.