Krista Vannest

 

  • School:  John H Pitman High School, Turlock CA

  • Region:  Central

  • Education and/or industry experience:  Cal Poly SLO, BS in Agriculture Science and Masters in Agriculture

  • Years teaching ag:  16

  • Subjects you teach: Ag Science, Floral, Viticulture, Ag Communications, Ag Geoscience

  • Hobbies and interests outside of teaching:  Raise Shorthorn cattle, sheep and chickens. Wine tasting and food pairings, "sport" enthusiast, vacation travels, RV camping and spa days. 

  • What do you love most about being an ag educator?  I get paid to teach students about things I love like food, wine, flowers, and animals. 

  • What is your biggest challenge as an ag educator? Time management, it’s a constant struggle to dedicate time to my profession and personal life.  It’s also a challenge managing the time in my day for all the additional projects, paperwork, and classroom needs.  I feel like a circus some days.

  • What have you learned thus far in your teaching career that you wish you would have known when you first began teaching?  Parents like papers.  They want flyers and notes to explain everything.  I could have avoided some complaints, arguments and frustration had I started making flyers for every little thing earlier.

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession in 2015?  Select a program that you can be successful and happy in, because your work is your second family and marriage.  Your classroom needs to be your priority in your first few years as an ag educator.  Get that solid first, then tackle the teams and make extra effort on projects.

  • What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession?  Creativity & flexibility.  You have to be able to roll with the punches and come up with ideas to handle whatever challenges come your way.  Also, DON’T get angry and jump to conclusions or shoot your mouth off/send an email without knowing the facts.  Assume the best, get mad later if you have to, but save yourself from the embarrassment.

  • What specific skills are important to being successful in this profession?  A strong work ethic to drive you to get the jobs done.  Integrity.  Doing what’s right even when no one is watching (because everyone is watching).  Willingness to learn new things and admit when you are wrong.

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator?  Raising livestock projects as a youth.  I was also fortunate to have parents that were educators and sports coaches, modeling work ethic and integrity.  In addition, collegiate livestock judging pushed me to make my brain function at a high level, under high stress, and not give up. 

  • Describe ag teaching in one to two words.  A Lifestyle

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