• Hobbies and interests outside of teaching:  Raising my daughters, trail running, reading, and showing horses.

  • What do you love most about being an ag teacher?  Three things:  The students, the staff, the community!!!   Working with the students, seeing their perspectives on life, watching them learn and create personal and career goals for themselves-which helps them to develop confidence in themselves as they move beyond high school!  The faculty and staff at Placer are like an extended family and they do a great job encouraging kids to get involved at our school.  I also really love the community I teach in, they are so incredibly supportive of our program-it's extremely humbling.

  • What is your biggest challenge as an ag teacher?  Maintaining a balance between family and teaching. Both require infinite amounts of time, and rightfully so!

  • What have you learned thus far in your teaching career that you wish you would have known when you first began teaching?  The importance of the community you teach in.  If you are not reaching out and getting involved with your community, then you are not using your resources wisely.  It takes time to establish those community connections and to keep them strong, you need to get out there and volunteer.  You need to get your students out there to volunteer!  Also, ask your local industry leaders to come speak to your classes.  Reach out to you local industry and organize field trips.  Utalize your cooperative extension agency, NRCS, Forest Foundation, USDA offices, etc. They have incredible people working in them-go meet them the second you sign that contract!

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession now?  It is ok not to know everything as you enter the profession, in fact it's even ok to ask for help from more experienced colleagues-it helps create a positive bond for you to ask questions and for your mentor to feel helpful!  Having a new teacher is as exciting and scary for an experienced teacher as it is for the rookie teacher starting out, the balance of learning a new personality takes time.  Another thing, support other Ag programs- go to their fundraiser dinners and invite them to yours, take your students to events with other chapters.  It's a great way for you AND your students to network!

  • What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession?  Maintaining a willingness to learn (throughout your career) from those around you as well as through industry connections, and conferences/in-services.  Be kind, be fair, be helpful, and have patience!

  • What specific skills are important to being successful in this profession? Listening, organization,  diligence.  Learn how to really listen! Listen to your students, parents, colleagues, community, your family, and your body.  Keep yourself organized-use a planner/calendar/binders (any technical way counts).  Be ready to work hard and ready to learn!  Agriculture is an extremely dynamic industry, so is education-they change constantly!! Be diligent by staying informed on issues affecting agriculture, new teaching methods, and working with your local Ag agencies/industries.

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator?  My student teaching experience was extremely helpful along with my supervising teachers.  Before becoming a teacher, I  worked as a liaison between farmers and urban communities in the Great State of  New York-this experience taught me how important agricultural education and communication truly is.

  • Describe ag teaching in one to two words. Awepic (Awesome + Epic)

     

Shannon Browning

 

  • School: Placer High School

  • Region:  Superior

  • Education and/or industry experience:

    • Sierra College-Associates of Science,

    • Cal Poly, SLO-Bachelors of Science

    • Cal Poly, SLO-Masters of Science

  • Years teaching ag:  15years

  • Subjects you teach:  Agriculture Science 1, Sustainable Agricultural Biology, Agriculture and Soil Chemistry, Agriculture Leadership, Agriculture Earth Science

2016 TESTIMONIAL

Teach Ag 2020

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