Texas FFA News  
Why I Teach Ag: Jason Woods    
Sunday, December 15, 2019 | Author: Texas FFA News

What ag education classes do you teach?
Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, Mathematical Applications in AFNR, Advanced Animal Science, Veterinary Medical Applications and Wildlife, Fisheries, and Ecology Management.

Why do you teach ag?
My background in production agriculture and my great experience as an FFA member in high school led me in this direction. After college, when the opportunity arose to teach in my hometown, I knew I had to jump on it. Currently, I get to teach with four of my best friends and former classmates. 

As a teacher, I love seeing how this profession helps mold our students into productive citizens and leaders in their chosen fields. 

What is your favorite classroom memory?
Whether it is a lesson in animal science, math, or wildlife I really enjoy seeing a student’s face and reaction when they finally "get" the concept.  Learning the information is one thing, but when students can apply that lesson to something outside of the classroom, it gives you the most fulfillment.

What is your favorite FFA memory?
Winning the state contest in senior skills in 2013 and 2018 are high on the list. However, I think it is watching our deserving FFA seniors receive a Texas FFA Scholarship after graduation.  It wasn't just one accolade that put them on the stage, it was four years of hard work and dedication to academics, FFA competitions, SAE programs, officer duties, and community service endeavors that gave them the opportunity.  

Those recipients are the ones who become our future ag teachers, veterinarians, industry leaders and business professionals.  It's a great feeling to know you played a role in getting them there.

What advice would you give yourself as a first-year teacher?
To be honest, I had a very smooth transition into teaching.  I was surrounded by a great support team and since I was a former graduate of the high school. I knew most of the expectations and demands of the school and community. Looking back, I would tell myself to be better prepared for the difficult days and conversations that arise as a teacher. If you're looking to build a program, start with engaging students in the classroom and lab.  Once you have them hooked, the SAE and FFA portion will take care of itself.

Also, take advantage of the VATAT Mentor Program. We have so many veteran teachers out there who can help you get a head-start. Continue to build on those teacher relationships and soak up as much as you can from their experiences.  

Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
Agriculture is one of our most vital resources, and it’s so important that our youth has a grasp on the subject. Our program provides so many opportunities for students, regardless of their background or interests.  The problem-solving and leadership skills they pick up in our classrooms and activities make them better prepared for the world that awaits them.

Do you have advice on balancing work/home life?
That's easier said than done and finding the right balance between the two is crucial.  You must know when it's time to lock up the classroom or shop for the day and spend quality time with your own family.  When you have those extended breaks with your spouse and children, focus on their needs and not just your own.  I must be reminded from time to time that since I'm working, State FFA Convention and VATAT Conference don't count as "Family Vacation".

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