• What do you love most about being an Ag teacher? The part I love most about being an agriculture teacher is watching students grow.  I love to see a student who is shy and not sure about participating in an event or contest challenge his/herself and, after, walk away with a smile, confident, asking “Ok Ms. Richards, what’s coming up next?”

  • What is your biggest challenge as an Ag teacher?   Two challenges that I face frequently are the politics of the job and finding time.  Learning and dealing with the politics within a school is definitely a side of my job that is extremely new.  Finding the right people to support my students and our program has been very beneficial; if I didn’t have those people in my corner I know it would be a different story.  I also struggle with finding the right balance of work and family.  Finding the time to do a good job in all my roles, such as teacher, coach, daughter, wife, and friend, is tough.  I have to constantly remind myself to not neglect any of these areas, that I am human, and to do my best. 

  • What have you learned thus far in your teaching career that you wish you would have known when you first began teaching? I have learned that I can make mistakes and still live.  I have had many freak out moments and I am thankful that I can look back and laugh at most of them.

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession now?  You can be your own teacher.  Take skills and qualities that you like from other teachers you think are amazing but don’t try to be exactly like them.  Your students will get to know who you are better and you will have a better sense of who you are.  Another piece of advice is to remember “one bite at a time.” Focus on one or two things at a time, or year, that you want to work on and as you get more comfortable then you can challenge yourself and add more.  It takes time to see a vision come to life.  Lastly, you are not alone and bad days do happen.  There are other teachers who have gone down a similar path or experience.  Don’t be afraid to talk to them or ask for advice. 

  • What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession?  Passion, confidence in yourself, patience, humility, curiosity are all important to a successful teaching career.  You should also be willing to include students, parents, administrators, and other teachers in your program.  

  • What specific skills are important to being successful in this profession?  Teachers need strong communication, organization, classroom management, networking, and creativity skills to succeed.

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator? Having incredible master teachers (Woodard, Freeman and Paulisich) and mentors (Selgrath, McCraw, Lemucchi and Morales) have been hands down the best blessings to have on this journey.  I have learned so much from each of them and they are still there for me as I continue to learn.  They have taught me that it is ok to ask for help, laugh, have high expectations of students, eat lunch with other departments on campus, put family first, and so much more.

  • Describe Ag teaching in one to two words. Family.  I love that some of my best friends are other agriculture teachers.  No matter what school, section, or region you are in help is just an email or call away.  We celebrate eachother’s successes, laugh at eachother’s mistakes, and are there for eachother in the toughest of times.  I have not witnessed this type of relationship in any other profession and I am thankful to be a part of the Ag Ed family.

Roobie Richards

 

  • School: McFarland High School

  • Region: The Mighty Mean San Joaquin

  • Education and/or industry experience: 

    • Cal Poly, SLO, M.S. in Agriculture Education (In Progress).

    • Fresno State, B.S. in Agriculture Education emphasis in Animal Science.

  • Years teaching Ag: 3

  • Subjects you teach:  Ag Earth Science, Ag Biology, and Ag Communications

  • Hobbies and interests outside of teaching: Raising goats, traveling, craft beer, and The Walking Dead.  

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Teach Ag 2020

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