Texas FFA News  
VATAT Takes Action to Help New Teachers    
Monday, April 15, 2019 | Author: Lani Pieper, Texas FFA News Staff

The Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas has implemented a new program or to ensure educators early in their careers are receiving support. 

In the Fall of 2017, the VATAT launched their new teacher mentor program to help teachers adjust to managing classrooms, FFA programs, livestock shows, LDE and CDE teams as well as building relationships with parents and administrators.

“We noticed a trend of new teachers leaving the field after a few years discouraged or burned out, so our board of directors and several industry stakeholders decided to take action,” said Tori Rosser, VATAT Special Projects Coordinator.

With the help of a generous sponsor, staff and a steering committee, the association was able to establish a program where retired agriculture science teachers serve as mentors to early career individuals. These experienced mentors have years’ worth of knowledge and experiences at their disposal to share.

“In 2017-2018 we had 17 mentors and 33 mentees,” said Rosser. “At the end of the first year, every teacher was granted contract renewal, which we are immensely proud of.”

This year they were able to expand the program to include 19 mentors and 37 mentees.

The VATAT hopes to continue to support new teachers with a professional network and a variety of resources after a year of mentoring. 

“We want mentees to finish their first year confident in their choice to become an ag teacher,” said Rosser. “I hope that through our program, mentees develop the skills they need in the years ahead, and a relationship with their mentor that outlasts the length of the program.”

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