By: Mollie Lastovica
Hands-on learning often represents the most-preferred type of learning for students of all ages. Both undergraduate and graduate students studying agricultural science and education are gaining such experiences as they complete their student teaching assignments across the state.
Associate Professor Julie Harlin, Ph.D., notes that student teaching is an integral part of agricultural education curriculum. It is the grand finale of their curriculum and a chance to apply the theories they have learned in an actual classroom.
For the fall semester, 17 students are student teaching. Senior agricultural science majors Amy Ponder, Patrick Rivera, Katelynn Jacob, Tanner Smith, Bridget Henderson, Katelyn Rather, James Rittiman, Sarah Brown, Ashley Hendricks, Lauren Cates, Rodolfo Rodriguez, Shana Childers, Taylor McGrew, Diana Tello and Kayla Havrda, along with post-bacculaurate student Caitlin Anderson and master’s student Jonathan Marshall, will each complete their degree requirements by observing and teaching in designated agricultural science classrooms.
The group spent two weeks learning at the Texas A&M Riverside campus at the start of the semester before relocating to their assigned schools. Student teaching placements vary geographically and demographically. While some stay in the Bryan-College Station vicinity, others move as far north as Prosper and south as Seguin and placements change each semester.
The student teaching experience greatly contributes to the students’ designated career path. It gives many of them the opportunity to decide if teaching is what they want to do upon graduation.
“There is currently a shortage of ag teachers in the nation and state,” Harlin said. “There are lots of opportunities for people who are considering it as a career and want to get involved.”