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Ashley Sampson
Dr. Pate
Vision Statement
As an agricultural education major from the Greater Houston Area my passion for
teaching agriculture sets me apart. Unlike the majority of my colleagues, I do not come from an
agricultural based background. My first experiences with agriculture did not occur until high
school, and that is what fuels my passion to educate students in the field of agriculture, so that
they will have the same learning opportunity. I am going to share with you my vision for
teaching and learning, essential qualities and skills a teacher must possess, and the essential
elements of the student-centered classroom.
National FFA Advisor, Dr. Larry Case, states that the current mission of agricultural
education [is] to prepare and support individuals for careers, build awareness and develop
leadership for the food, fiber, and natural resource systems accurately articulates the vision of the
future of agriculture, and I cannot wait to make this impact on my future students. Upon reading
Dr. Cases statement, I could not help but reflect on Mr. Tharman Shanmugartnams vision for
teaching and learning; to engage our students and prepare them for life, rather than to teach for
tests and examinations (Kagan, 2006). I want to prepare my students for real life experiences,
not for testing. A huge part of my goal as a teacher is to lead by example. If I show off my
passion for learning about agriculture, the students will see that being passionate about learning
will make learning fun and easy.
Open-mindedness is an essential quality a teacher should possess. It is important to
remember that not all of my students will have come from the same background as me. If a

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student often turns in late assignments, it is not my duty to scold them. I have a responsibility as
an educator to find out why, let the student know that I am there for them, and work with their
schedule as much as possible to ensure their overall success. At the same time, a teacher should
be stern so that they dont lose credibility and respect from their students. Student engagement is
also a key responsibility that the teacher holds. On the high school level, it can be difficult to get
students to be engaged and participate in class. Being able to successfully teach cooperative
learning structures is an essential skill a teacher must possess and the most effective way to
maintain in class participation as a whole. Cooperative learning does not call on students to
volunteer their participation; it requires every individual to partake in the lesson at hand. In my
experience I have found that students can be discouraged or hesitant when they are singled out in
front of all of their peers, and this is especially true for shy students, lower achievers, and early
language learners. The result: They don't learn as much or as quickly (Kagan, 2009).
Maintaining a healthy relationship between student and teacher is the basis that holds the
essential elements of a student-centered classroom together. My vision for teaching is not to have
a friendship with my students, but to have an understanding and respectable relationship with
them. I want to earn their respect, and I want them to respect me. I am passionate about
agriculture because it is a part of everyones everyday life, and I intend on proving that to them
from leading by example. In other words, I will not only teach them to be upstanding students
and members of society, but I will hold that image as well, so that they have the precise idea of
what that looks like. My students will learn the leadership skills and abilities that I have thanks to
my high school agriculture teacher and my FFA chapter. Strict and overly authoritative
classrooms are not guaranteed success. It is my mission as an educator to teach my students
much more than curriculum alone. My mentor teacher, Dean Edwards, is a prime example of a

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teacher whom his students respect highly. He did not earn their respect by intense disciplinary
action, he earned it by relating to them in any possible we he can. Mr. Edwards is engaged in his
students success inside the classroom and in their extracurricular activities such as football. His
students at Morgan Mill admire him for the respect and care he has for all of them. By holding
them to a higher standard, it also acts as incentive for them to do well in the classroom because
they dont want to disappoint him or let him down. I looked up to my agriculture teacher in this
same manner, and I cannot wait to be a role model just like them as an educator.
Having the opportunity to impact many generations to come by educating them about the
agricultural industry is an honor and not something that I take lightly. My vision as not only an
educator, but as an agricultural educator is to ensure a positive teaching and learning
environment, reflect the essential qualities and skills a teacher must possess every day, and the
essential elements of the student-centered classroom. My passion for agriculture will help me to
excel in all of those aspects of cognitive learning as an agricultural educator.

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Case, L. What are the Goals and Purposes of Agricultural Education? The Agricultural
Education Magazine, (Nov/Dec, 1998, Vol. 71 No. 3).
Kagan, S. Teach Less, Learn More. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing. Kagan Online
Magazine, Fall 2006.
Kagan, S. Kagan Structures: A Miracle of Active Engagement. San Clemente, CA: Kagan
Publishing. Kagan Online Magazine, Fall/Winter 2009.