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Amador Martinez

  • Name: Amador Martinez

  • School: Nevada Union High School

  • Region: Superior

  • Education and/or industry experience: CSU Chico. USDAFA Mendocino. CSU Chico Office of Admissions

  • Years teaching ag: 5

  • Subjects you teach: Ag Mechanics, Forestry & Natural Resources, Animal Science, Ag Biology and Agriscience

  • Hobbies and interests outside of teaching: Archery, Bowling &spending time with family.

  • What do you love most about being an ag teacher?  The diversity of everything that the job entails. From greenhouses to the shop and from being in the classroom to attending field days and conferences, there’s a lot to be covered. I enjoy that this career is really part of my lifestyle. Some days you can be inside lecturing or covering a lab, the next day you can be out in the greenhouse or outside learning plant identification or land surveying. Being able to show students just how “real-life” the world of agriculture really is. It’s all connected, when I can get a student to really understand the scope of agriculture and how it pertains to our everyday lives I feel accomplished. Not to mention, this job gives me the ability to really show students important virtues; that they may not get in other classes. The kids are cool too.  

  •  What is your biggest challenge as an ag teacher?  Time management. This career is very unique as you wear so many different hats outside of being a teacher and sometimes the stress of doing so many things can pile on if you let it. It’s something of a juggling act with Teaching, coaching teams, doing community events, conferences and spending time with family and friends. One of the biggest things I struggled with in my first couple of years was prioritizing how much of time I spent at school versus doing things for myself away from school. The demanding nature of this job requires your time after school and during weekends and it’s easy to get caught up with the everything and that can lead to not spending any time on yourself. We’re all a driven group of individuals in this profession so it’s hard learning to say no to things.

  • 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 would have known how to fill out field trip request forms, reserve hotel rooms and how to budget for a program; so more the administrative and behind the scenes type of duties. Luckily I received a lot of assistance from other Advisors in my area when I had questions or needed Ideas. Another thing I am is how to manage the work-life balance.

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession now?  Don’t be afraid. You’ll definitely have highs and lows, but you can’t let the lows keep you down (not meant to sound inspirational). Want to make some changes that can benefit the students in your classroom? Go for it. Its ok not to know everything, which is why reaching out to experienced teachers is a great way to gain some valuable insight.

  • What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession?  Several of the qualities that are important are having a strong resolve, be flexible and know your strengths and weaknesses (because students will figure you out quickly). In my opinion it is also important to be able flexible, because there will be times you will have to pivot from one thing to another. This means being able to roll with the punches and even when the unexpected happens.

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator?  My life and work experiences have helped me a lot to prepare me for this career. Originally I wanted to work in law enforcement, but somehow I kept finding myself working with students a lot in volunteer work, internships or other jobs. I used to work with multiple organizations such as ETS, Summer Bridge, Upward Bound and the US Forest Service YCC. All of these where youth programs that gave me the chance to work with students from a wide variety of backgrounds. With Upward Bound I tutored students throughout the school year and during summer was a Summer Residential Advisor in the university dorms for the Summer Program. I used to work for the Forest Service working with youth crews and create job shadowing opportunities for the students. Even working for the Chico State Admissions office gave me a lot of insight to how colleges and universities operate. Within ag, I have spent a lot of my time raising a wide variety of livestock and pets. My family owns and operates 30 acres of almonds and are now raising club lambs for fairs.

  • If you could relive one of your most memorable days as a teacher, which day would it be and why?  One of the best memories I have is seeing my first set of freshmen graduate as well rounded seniors and move on to the real world. They were my “original” freshmen so after being at the same school for four years and hearing the impact I had on them during their grad speeches was really cool.

  • Describe ag teaching in one to two words.  Challenging. Rewarding.

- 2022 -

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