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Sierra Meyers

Sierra June Meyers

  • School: Yuba City High

  • Region: Superior

  • Education and/or industry experience: 

    • Madera South High School

    • AS General Agriculture, Redlands Community College (El Reno, OK)

    • BS Agriculture Education and teaching credentials, Chico State

    • 17 years in livestock industry; showing cattle, sheep and pigs, raising cattle and hogs

    • Family farms almonds, pistachios and olives in Fresno County

  • Years teaching ag: 2nd year of teaching

  • Subjects you teach: This year I am teaching Ag Biology and Ag Science 2 (Life Science). Next year I will be adding Ag Chemistry to my schedule

  • Hobbies and interests outside of teaching: My interest/hobbies typically don’t expand outside of my job but when I have a moment I love spending time with my awesome family and friends, watching the SF Giants play, attending jackpot shows, looking at good livestock, watching HGTV, and my adorable corgi named Bradlie.

  • What do you love most about being an ag teacher? I love the fact that I am constantly being inspired by my students. When we decide to become teachers I feel like most of us are in it to mold young minds in hopes that they too will find a passion for agriculture. However, it is my students that inspire me each and every day. Seeing them overcome some of the toughest challenges that even I struggle to comprehend. Whether it is getting up in front of a large group of people even though they have stage fright, understanding a difficult concept in class, or showing up to school every day ready to learn, even though their home life is not the best. I love spending time with my students and learning all about their joys and discomforts. Being the person there for them during tough times or their best days. I hope that I can inspire my students as much as they have inspired me.

  •  What is your biggest challenge as an ag teacher? My biggest challenge as an Ag teacher is time. Sometimes I feel like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Whether it is prepping for classes, coaching teams, or something in my personal life. I was never the best when it came to time management so that is something I really have to work on because I have people counting on me to get things done or be somewhere at a specific time. Not only is it finding time to get things done but also finding time for myself. Making time for yourself, your family and friends is really important for your SANITY!

  • What have you learned thus far in your teaching career that you wish you would have known when you first began teaching? Paperwork is SO IMPORTANT!! The amount of paperwork you have to do varies with your district but take some time out of the first week of school to learn about the different pieces of paperwork needed to take kids on field trips, complete fundraisers, open purchase orders, etc.  We fill out paperwork every day for something related to our job. I wish I would have sat down with my department head and ladies from the front office and learned how to complete those correctly. That would have saved me a lot of headaches and apologies throughout the year.

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession now? It is okay to not know everything. Ask for help. Having a rapport with your students is key! I feel like as we enter the profession, we can get embarrassed when we don’t know about something specific. For example, I teach Ag Biology. When I was student teaching my second semester I had to teach Ag Biology. Luckily, I had Jennifer Terpstra as my cooperating teacher and I would watch her in the morning teach similar lessons, then teach in the afternoon. In the morning I had a notebook that I would take out and write notes down just as if I was a student. I would write down things she said that I liked, definitions for certain words and I would complete assignments just like students did. This has benefited me greatly now as a teacher because I use that notebook all the time when I am teaching lessons as a reference. Ask for help! I had a student that wanted to do prepared public speaking this year so I turned to some teachers that I knew had been successful in the prepared public speaking contest. I felt my student was better prepared for the contest because of this. Create a rapport with your students. Get to know them! If you see them having a bad day talk to them or let them step outside. If you talk to them about your personal life (you don’t have to get too personal lol) they might find something that they can relate to you with.

  •  What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession? 

    • Willingness to learn

    • Can take constructive criticism

    • Competitive nature

    • Knowledge of agriculture industry

    • Team player

  •  What does a typical day look like to you? I leave for school at 7am. My schedule is 1st and 2nd period Ag Biology, 3rd – 6th period Ag Science 2 (Life Science). I am 6th/5ths this year meaning I do not have a prep period. Depending on the day, during lunch we either have a FFA officer meeting, committee meeting or BIG practice. After school one day a week I do SAE project visits (I’m the swine leader), or I have Livestock Judging practice.  Sometimes, I have IEP meetings to attend as well.  That puts me at about 4:30/5pm. Then, I try to go to the gym to work out for an hour. When I get home there are times where I have to go out to the pig barn to help my boyfriend with something. We will then have dinner and I try to be in bed by 9pm. I don’t bring my school computer home. That is something I promised myself so that when I got home I wasn’t working on school stuff.

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator? Student teaching prepared me most for being an agriculture educator. I student taught under Andree’ Earley at Las Plumas High School (fall) and Jennifer Terpstra at Escalon High School (spring). While student teaching at both schools I was able to see how different programs were ran. While teaching under Mrs. Earley, I focused on the FFA component of ag education. When I was at Escalon I really focused in on the classroom side of things. I have to give props to those that intern while getting their credential because there was no way that I was ready.

  • Describe your most comical teacher moment.   My most comical moment as a teacher so far was just recently. It started the Friday before the Modesto JC contest. My livestock judging team had just finished a really good practice and I had sent the kids home. They needed to be at the school at 4am. I went online to make sure that our payment had been received when I noticed that my team hadn’t even been registered!! I started panicking. However, after a couple phone calls and some begging I got the okay to bring my team to the contest. Next morning we get to school at 4am. Load up in the van and leave to get gas. This is when I had realized I had left my checkbook in my truck (I needed it to pay my registration).  So we turn around to go back to my truck and I grab it then we are on our way. We get into Manteca, I get my kids Starbucks (naturally) and I notice that my freshman girl is wearing black skinny jeans and boots. When I asked her where her proper pants were she informs me that she couldn’t find them that morning and she was also wearing her 7 year old sisters boots… she couldn’t find those either apparently. So we find a Walmart and I run in to get her pants and hopefully some resemblance of boots so her feet aren’t being crushed all day. We find her a pair of pants, go to check out and they were on sale for $1. Yep, $1. I jump into the van excited about our recent purchase when I slam the door on 4 of my fingers. I honestly don’t know how I didn’t use vulgar words to express my pain. It hurt so bad. We finally pull into west campus, fingers still throbbing and my ag teacher (Rebecca Bigelow-Mendonza a.k.a. the best person ever) brings my student a pair of boots that fit her. Things start finally falling into place when I look back to see my male student throwing up in the parking lot… Could this day get any worse? It’s only 6:30 am! I run to get him some 7up to settle his stomach, give him judging cards and off into the contest he went. Why is this my most comical moment?! After the kids were in the contest and I was finally able to calm down I couldn’t help but laugh at how hectic and crazy that last 12 hours had been. I wish I could say we placed top 5 in the contest that day but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I was still all worth it as my kids were able to compete, learn great lessons judging that day and we had a girl place 4th in goats!

- 2017 -

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