Douglas Cousins

 

  • School: Perris High School

  • Region: Southern

  • Education and/or industry experience:  

    • Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Cal Poly, Pomona

    • Master of Educational Administration from Cal State, Northridge

  • Years teaching ag: 17  

  • Subjects you teach: Agriculture Chemistry, Agriculture Earth Science and Agriculture Leadership

  • Hobbies and interests outside of teaching: Spending time with my wife and daughters, Playing baseball on Sundays

  • What do you love most about being an ag teacher? Even after 17 years it’s the FFA trips that I love most!

  • What is your biggest challenge as an ag teacher?  Knowing when to go home!  Balancing my family and career are the most challenging.  My passion and drive to be a good father, husband and agriculture teacher “bump heads” all of the time and is still a work in progress.

  • What have you learned thus far in your teaching career that you wish you would have known when you first began teaching?  I wish I had realized “the bigger picture” right away as a new teacher.  My educational philosophy has changed quite a bit since I began teaching.  There is way more to teaching than just delivering the course content to the students.  I realized that successful teaching happens when you build relationships and make connections with your students.  When you do this it takes your classroom experience to a whole new level.   I believe we are there to teach more than just content.  We are there to prepare our students to be successful after high school and be an answer to the questions they have about the unknown.  FFA has been a great vehicle for this, both inside and outside of the classroom.

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession now?  I would tell a new teacher that they need to understand how important the teacher – student relationship is in and out of the classroom.  Especially in the classroom because that is where it all begins.  It’s going to be nearly impossible to get students involved if you can’t connect to your students.   If you are able to build these relationships and make connections, classroom management becomes a whole lot easier and your FFA program will be stronger and have more involvement.

  • What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession?   To be successful in this profession you must have respect, model respect and teach respect.  Respect encompasses many of the classroom management behaviors that you will ask your students to adhere to during the school year.  I also believe you need to be passionate while teaching and advising, humble in your successes and don’t be afraid to show your students that you care.

  • What specific skills are important to being successful in this profession?  It helps to know a little about a lot of things as an agriculture teacher.  Especially in a small program when there aren’t other agriculture teachers to specialize in a certain part of the program.  You may have to be the advisor for all or multiple aspects of your program.  This includes SAE, FFA and curriculum.  I also believe having organization skills and managing time are valuable skills.

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator?  Experience.  Being in the classroom and changing myself along the way is what has made me the agriculture teacher I am today.  You are going to learn a lot your first few months in the classroom, so don't be afraid to change things along the way, that may improve the learning environment of your classroom.  Also using other agriculture teachers as a resource.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  

  • Describe ag teaching in one to two words.  Rewarding

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