• What do you love most about being an ag teacher?  I didn't know what to expect when I became an Ag Teacher, but I can tell you there is never a boring day!  I go to bed each night looking forward to the next day of teaching students. I love watching my students grow from timid impressionable freshman to confident, well-rounded seniors.  My students are some of the most hardworking, gritty individuals I know, who despite their obstacles continue to amaze and teach me something new everyday. Working at Mendota High School has been one of the best career choices I could have made.

  • What is your biggest challenge as an ag teacher?  One of my biggest challenges is helping students understand just how many opportunities there are in the industry of agriculture. Many of the students I teach work to help support their families by spending long, backbreaking hours in the fields after school and on weekends. I’ve made it my personal challenge to expand students’ understanding of agriculture to include the many and rewarding careers in Ag.

  • What have you learned thus far in your teaching career that you wish you would have known when you first began teaching?  “Patience is a virtue.”  Creating a successful program isn’t done overnight and it takes many hands to help. I tend to be an individual who creates a vision and then wants it put into action ‘now’ or get it done ‘right away.’  I have learned this isn’t always realistic. Sometimes when we have patience, we learn so much more about ourselves and those who help us. Good things do come with time and, of course, patience.

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession now?  Pace yourself. As a novice teacher it is easy to want to fulfill all of your goals in a year, but you become a more effective teacher if you pick two or three big goals to complete each year.   I would also say to take a sincere interest in the other staff members and office staff you work with.  I’m amazed and grateful for the amount of help and support I receive from my fellow staff members. Many take time out of their weekends to come to various events or spend extra time after school tutoring an Ag student so that they could attending everything the FFA has to offer.  Building relationships in and outside of our profession can go a long way and it’s an area we tend to lose sight of.

  • What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession?  To be a successful teacher you’ll need skills in time management, flexibility, tenaciousness, the ability to be humble, and the ability to have empathy for your students. Finally, always wanting to learn and improve is key to becoming a successful teacher to others.

  • What does a typical day look like to you?  A typical day starts pretty early for me. I am up by 4/4:15 and arrive to work by 6:30/6:45--  depending on traffic. I like to arrive early to work because it is the quietest time of the day and it allows me to concentrate on all of my “to do’s” for the day or week. The bulk of the day is spent teaching, with students filling my room including during breaks and lunch (unless there's an officer or department meeting).  After school there is always more time spent with students for tutorial time, CDE and livestock practice, or just getting ready for the next day.  

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator?  I would have to say that my family really helped to mold me into who I am today. My teachers at Sierra High School,  Ms. Beechinor, Mr. Vandenack, and Mr. Wyman outlined my future. Seeing their love and passion for the job made me want to share that same experience. The outstanding Ag Education Professors at Fresno State and Cal Poly taught me that teaching is fluid and if we want to be successful in our career we must be willing to push our boundaries. I would also have to say being a Teaching Fellow at Fresno State and working with students through the JE Young Program allowed me to be more empathetic and patient as well as see the lasting positive change that can be made on even one student.

  • If you could relive one of your most memorable days as a teacher, which day would it be and why?  As teachers we get to witness new experiences through our students. One such experience occurred only a week into my first year of teaching at Mendota. I took a group of students to the San Joaquin Regional Boot Camp, in San Luis Obispo. It was on a Saturday and didn't start until noon that day, so I decided to take them to Pismo Beach first, since a few of them had never been to the ocean before. As we rounded the corner and the ocean came into view, I looked at the rear view mirror and saw speechless amazement on their faces. My closest personal feeling of this description was when I first saw the Grand Canyon. I found parking that was within a few feet from the sand, we got out, and students took off their shoes-- all but one. I told him that it was okay; I would carry his shoes for him.  He told me he didn’t feel comfortable taking off his shoes because the sand by the river in Mendota has glass in it that can cut your feet. That moment was truly impactful to me on how our personal experiences can shape the decisions we make in our lives. The rest of the short time there was spent walking up and down the beach until the leadership boot camp began. That day will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Bradley Miranda

  • School:  Mendota High School

  • Region:  San Joaquin Region

  • Education and/or industry experience:

    • Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education (2014), California State University, Fresno

    • Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Education (2017), Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

  • Years teaching ag:  Two (2)

  • Subjects you teach:  Ag Earth Science, Animal and Plant Anatomy and Physiology, Aand Soil Chemistry

  • Hobbies and interests outside of teaching:  I enjoy being outdoors and spending time with family and friends.  To be honest, I really enjoy the time I spend building the Mendota High School Agricultural program working with the animals, the greenhouse, students and my department, so there’s really not a lot of free time.  

2017 TESTIMONIAL

Teach Ag 2020

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