This past week was National Teacher Appreciation Week. Schools across the country celebrated the individuals who give their all to their community and their students. To be a teacher is to know hard work, unconditional love, and the true test of patience. There is one group of teachers that deserves even more recognition — your agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.
These individuals not only set lesson plans, act as a part time counselor, and give out tough love like a normal teacher, but they are also there to help students find their passion, drive you to every competition, and bring together a set of students to make a new FFAmily.
During National Teacher Appreciation Week, students were able to take this special occasion and recognize the teacher that has left an impact on their life. For example, in the National Association of Agriculture Educators Thank a Teacher Campaign, students were able to show their appreciation.
“Mr. Nathan Isakson has impacted my life, as well as many others in the agricultural education program at Ash Grove High…
Ash Grover FFA member MaKenna Johnson said “Mr. Nathan Isakson has impacted my life, as well as many others in the agricultural education program at Ash Grove High School in Ash Grove, Missouri. Personally, he has helped me find my place in life. I have always been involved in many activities and groups, but agricultural education has been my favorite, because of Mr. Isakson. He instills a drive and passion into the hearts of so many students. In less than six years of teaching at Ash Grove, Mr. Isakson has grown our program by over 25%. Because of him, our FFA chapter is the largest student organization in our school district.”
FFA members are not the only ones who took the time to appreciate agriculture teachers. On the National FFA Organization Facebook page, they recognized their amazing teacher ambassadors.
Happy #TeacherAppreciationWeek to every hardworking FFA teacher! 📚 A special thank you to all the teacher ambassadors…
A part of that appreciation post included a special announcement from an FFA supporter. Herman Wilson and his wife, Bobbie — a former teacher — are working to address a shortage of agricultural education teachers who serve as FFA advisors. For the past 24 years, the Wilsons have supported the National FFA Organization and its mission.
The Wilsons pledged $1 million to the National Teacher Ambassadors for FFA. This program was designed to provide training to teachers and a peer mentorship on behalf of FFA.
“How to keep young teachers in the classroom is something that needs to be addressed as soon as they start their careers,” Herman said.
As a result of Wilson’s gift, FFA was able to increase the number of teacher ambassadors from 38 in 2019-20 to 59 ambassadors in 2020-21.
“Agriculture teachers, and FFA in general, can be a shining light for students to follow to success,” Herman said. “If a student wants to get involved with FFA, they shouldn’t have to miss out on an opportunity like that because of lack of resources. We need to find dedicated teachers to fill these shortages and show them why it’s so important to stay.”
With generous donations like these, the National FFA Organization continues to grow and develop into a premier organization.
Agriculture teachers deserve respect and recognition everyday. Without these leaders, the FFA organization would not be where it is today. These individuals give so much of their time and talents to the future of agriculture. Not just anyone could handle the rigorous demands of being an agricultural teacher. Every job has its ups and downs, but not every job can change a life.