I have the highest respect for you. You helped me become the person I’m meant to be. You pushed me, you believed in me when no one else would, and you got mad at me anytime I didn’t give my best. You went beyond being just another teacher. You were more than a coach, even more than a mentor. You were family. In fact, you spent time away from your own family to treat us like your own.
For that, I am forever grateful. It is in these moments, as I’ve gotten older, that I realize just how much I miss having you around to push me, to coach me, to guide me. You showed me just how fun life can be even in the midst of stressful situations like state contests.
I’ll never forget those ridiculous jokes that followed a serious lecture or the old school country and rock music you blared at 2 a.m. on the way to contests.
You taught me more than just the appreciation of agriculture. You taught me how to treat people and how to believe in myself.
You taught me there is a choice. A choice, that in any position we end up in, we can choose to simply be the title or we can choose to be a leader; a leader who intentionally and positively encourages and builds up those around us. That is a rare and beautiful thing.
Thank you, for pouring into my life during the most awkward years and giving me lessons that guide me even to this day. I remember every lesson and every cheesy joke. During rough times, I hear your coaching and that’s when I realize it’s okay to step out on a limb because I can do it. I can do this thing called life and I can do it well.
I hope this brings comfort to you, because I know how difficult, stressful and underappreciated the ag teacher life must be. I hope you understand how appreciated you are, how respected you are, and how large of an impact you have on students’ lives.
Your Former Student
To those interested in becoming an ag teacher:
I hope you remember these type of ag teachers when you start teaching. I hope you remember how to balance the fun with the competitive edge. I hope you remember that your attitude as a teacher will set the attitude of your students going into shows and contests. I hope you remember that you might have been the kid in the back of the class refusing to participate, but you ended up winning first individual in something later that year.
Believe in your students like they believed in theirs…like they believed in you.
Visit the Texas Tech Department of Agricultural Education & Communications website or the National Teach Ag Campaign to learn more about becoming the next generation’s ag teacher.