Texas FFA News  
Why I Teach Ag: Jimmy Key    
Thursday, November 15, 2018 | Author: Texas FFA News

What ag education classes do you teach?
Agricultural Mechanics and Metal Technologies
Practicum in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
Agricultural Power Systems

Why do you teach ag?
I chose Agriculture Education because every phase of my life was connected to agriculture in some way. I have chosen to stay in the field because ag ed is so diverse that it stays interesting. Over my time as a teacher I've come to realize just how fulfilling and rewarding the teaching profession is in itself.

What is your favorite classroom memory?
One of my favorite classroom memories comes from teaching Advanced Animal Science as a fourth-year science credit. Throughout those years I had so many non-traditional ag students who really came to enjoy agriculture and the ag program. Many commented on how they wished they had joined our program earlier and had the opportunity to be more engaged.

What is your favorite FFA memory?
My favorite memory centers around a former student with Down Syndrome. We he came in as a Freshman he was almost non-verbal and was very withdrawn. Through the kindness of a friend who gave him his first bottle baby show goat, Jeremy blossomed into an incredible showman and into a kid with a larger than life personality. He became known, not only at our high school but throughout our county and across the state. He has been out of school for 12 years now, and I still have people ask about him.

What advice would you give yourself as a first-year teacher?
Work hard and seek help and advice from experienced teachers.

Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
Many reasons. I believe the diversity of the courses and curriculum can reach so many kids. The Leadership Development Events and Speaking Development Events establish skills and confidence for kids transitioning into the adult world. The Supervised Agricultural Experience component provides a platform to develop responsibility and accountability. 

Also, many of our programs can be done as a family. Unlike other activities kids may be involved in where the parents drop them off with a coach or teacher, we have the unique opportunity to involve everyone. In today's world we need all these aspects.

Do you have advice on balancing work/home life?
When my wife was pregnant with my son, a good friend and fellow ag teacher shared some advice with me that had been passed down. "When your kids are grown, they can say one of two things, my dad was a heck of an ag teacher, or my dad was a heck of a dad." It is important to be committed to your school and program, but the needs of your family should always help guide your decision making.

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