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NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication

September 2014

The Way I See It Jack Winterrowd, Cedar Park

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead I completely believe that change is something that is inevitable in our lives and the successes we experience are largely the result of the way that we embrace change. Right after I was elected as a VATAT Officer, a good friend reminded me that eventually I would have to write my monthly column for this newsletter. That fact was something I didn’t even consider when I decided to run for this office. What would I be able to write that would make a positive impact on my peers? Like my predecessors, I will have a focus for each article this year so that at the conclusion of my term I can look back with hope that I have made a positive impact. When I began my teaching career in December of 1978, I never dreamed that I would be writing an article such as this or have the honor to serve in this office. I didn’t have a clue about what this all meant. I joined VATAT because Dr. Herman Brown said I had to do it. He was my mentor and basically got me my first job in Cameron, Texas. So who was I to ever question his authority? He told me that the job I was taking was going to change me and that I would eventually change the lives of

my students in that sleepy Central Texas town. I took the place of a career teacher who had been there forever. Since I was a 22-year-old with two fancy college degrees from Texas A&M, I knew that I was going to change the world. My start was somewhat unusual because I graduated on a Saturday and began teaching the following Monday. I was fresh off a very successful student teaching experience, thanks to Mr. Clarence Karcher, and I thought that I could take on the world. Little did I know that the world had other plans for me. Two weeks later over the Christmas break, I was asking some serious questions, what the devil I had gotten myself into? For you see, the man I replaced had been forced to take a medical retirement soon after school began in September and the students (I use that term loosely) had gone through a succession of substitute teachers until I arrived on the scene. Their favorite thing to do was to sharpen the ends of welding rods with the bench grinder and throw them into the wood ceiling of the shop to see if they could stick them there. My ideas on what to teach and how to teach were not at all to their liking. If I heard the phrase, “that’s not how Mr. ***** does it” once, I heard it a thousand times. I used to joke that if they would give me a dollar each time they said it, I could pay off my new truck. That

first group of seniors and I butted heads for the remainder of the year and when they graduated some of them wouldn’t even shake my hand of congratulations. But I made some changes and gradually, things improved. “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell So now fast forward to this new 2014-15 school year and I am beginning my 35th year working in Agriculture Education, 30 of which have been in a high school ag classroom. Looking back I see how the previous quote has reigned true in my professional life. There are

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Profile for Texas Ag Ed

September 2014  

Vol. VI Issue I

September 2014  

Vol. VI Issue I

Profile for texasffa
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