Texas FFA News  
Why I Teach Ag: Stephen Scitern    
Friday, March 15, 2019 | Author: Texas FFA News

What ag education classes do you teach?

Advanced Plant and Soil Science 
Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources 
Mathematical Applications in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources 
Agricultural Mechanics and Metal Technologies 
Why do you teach ag?
I teach ag because I love agriculture and I feel that it is important that everyone be exposed to it at some point in their lives.  If you couple the classroom with an involved FFA experience, participants can truly build usable skills for the future.

What is your favorite classroom memory?
It is hard to pick out just one favorite classroom memory.  Anytime that a student has that "I get it" moment is a great moment.  

What is your favorite FFA memory?
My favorite FFA memories include winning four state CDEs titles and qualifying seven times for the national ag communications and Range contests. Each time has been special in its own way because of the bond each team had.  Fortunately, both of my sons were on teams that qualified for nationals, making it that much more special.

What advice would you give yourself as a first-year teacher?
I would advise a first-year teacher to find a mentor and ask a lot of questions. You should not be afraid of trying new things or training new teams. You must understand that to be successful you will have to show up and out work everyone else.  Sometimes you may have to change your way of thinking or what you want to do, in order to better fit your members desires and their talents. I often say it is not about finding the right kids for the team but finding the right team for the kids. 

I would also advise you to take an interest in other teacher’s classes and help those teachers out. Team teach or tutor for them; it will go a long way. 

Show up on time, following the rules, teach and out work everyone.

Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
Agriculture is so important because it is something we cannot live without. It is also the one discipline that implements all other classes taught in the school. Agriculture gives students the opportunity to apply knowledge in a real-world setting.  It teaches real problem solving skills.

Do you have advice on balancing work/home life?

Balancing a work and home life can be hard. You must make time for your personal life. However, there will be times that you cannot change your work schedule. Scheduling is important to balance both. But remember, you must spend time with family, friends or hobbies to keep your sanity.

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