Changing Majors

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shortyjock89

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I'm currently an Animal Science major with a focus in Pre Vet Med. at the University of Illinois.  I don't know if I want to be a vet anymore, but I know that I would love to teach. I want to be an Ag Teacher for a high school. I was wondering if there were any Ag teachers on the site that could give me any advice or help in becoming a teacher.  I love Ag, and many of my friends insist that I could be a better teacher than most teachers out there.  I don't want to brag, but I think I could make a good teacher.  Thanks to anyone who has any input or advice.  (clapping)
 

knabe

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the average number of times students change majors in california 4 year universities is 4.5.  practice teaching and see if everyone is as thrilled with you as you are yourself.  that, with your enthusiasm should be your drive to improve and see if you have a future, coupled with your zeal for interest in seeing the clay you will hold in your hands take on their own enthusiasm and interest. 
 

shortyjock89

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knabe said:
the average number of times students change majors in california 4 year universities is 4.5.  practice teaching and see if everyone is as thrilled with you as you are yourself.  that, with your enthusiasm should be your drive to improve and see if you have a future, coupled with your zeal for interest in seeing the clay you will hold in your hands take on their own enthusiasm and interest. 

Knabe, students change majors here like crazy too, but they usually change because they have no clue as to what they want to do.  I have always had an interest in teaching, and I have had a taste of it, as I have tutored people and even helped my mom when she went back to school about five years ago.  I'm only a freshman, and I know that I have alot to learn and see, but I can really see myself teaching and conveying my enthusiasm for Agriculture in such a way that it helps my students gain a passion in Ag.  Thanks so much in taking the time respond, and I think that you are one of the best thinkers that I've had the opportunity to interact with.
 

JbarL

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shortyjock89 said:
knabe said:
the average number of times students change majors in california 4 year universities is 4.5.  practice teaching and see if everyone is as thrilled with you as you are yourself.  that, with your enthusiasm should be your drive to improve and see if you have a future, coupled with your zeal for interest in seeing the clay you will hold in your hands take on their own enthusiasm and interest. 

Knabe, students change majors here like crazy too, but they usually change because they have no clue as to what they want to do.  I have always had an interest in teaching, and I have had a taste of it, as I have tutored people and even helped my mom when she went back to school about five years ago.  I'm only a freshman, and I know that I have alot to learn and see, but I can really see myself teaching and conveying my enthusiasm for Agriculture in such a way that it helps my students gain a passion in Ag.  Thanks so much in taking the time respond, and I think that you are one of the best thinkers that I've had the opportunity to interact with.
"conveying my enthusiasm for Agriculture in such a way that it helps my students gain a passion in Ag.".....some time its not changing your"mind" or "major".....thats the hold up...its usually changing your heart that takes the most time.......remember the "feelings" and"enthusium" you had for your first desire........the best of  luck to you
sj....and ps.......get ready to make 4 or 5 more of these decisions in your young  life ahead.... ;D...and if you have kids...get ready tomake  8 or 9 of these kind of decisions in your young life ahead..... ;D....godd luck  jbarl
 

sawboss

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SJ89, I spent 11 years of my career in Education, 8 years as a High School Business Teacher/Coach and 3 years as a High School Principal.  First and foremost you need to love young people and willing to put in extra hours.  So many young people go into Education knowing their subject matter from top to bottom, but do not have the "People Skills" to pull it off.  I have heard so many Teachers complain about their students and parents in the areas of lack of discipline, respect and work ethics that it would make your head spin.  It is out there, a High School campus is a mirror image of the adult community that surrounds it some good and some bad.  When you are dealing with another person's child you must keep in mind that not all attitudes and morals will match your's.  I suggest that you visit a local High School in your area and shadow an Agriculture Science Teacher to see what actually occurs in their daily routine.  Do not go to the school you attended, because it will be too familiar to you and may give you a false read.  Visit schools of different sizes and racial make-ups to get a feel of something that was different from your High School experience.  I left my career in Education for the simple fact that I doubled my salary in the private sector.  This is another factor you need to look at, I do not know about starting pay in your state, but in Texas a first year teacher will start at $25,000 in a rural area.  That is some of the down side, I do not mean to sound negative, only honest about the field you are looking at for a career.  The up side is the students who you will come in contact with and truly make an impact on their lives.  It still thrills me to see a former student that is now an adult and have them respectfully greet me as Coach Carrell and know by there actions that I did make a difference in their High School adventure and growth to becoming a responsible adult.  Good luck with your decision and feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.  Great educators are the backbone to our country's future generations.
 

clifflem

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If you are interested in teaching, check it out.  I'm not sure what your state is like as far as salary, but here in OK, starting ag teacher base salary is in the $40,000 a year range.  This is a 12 month contract and some this year were getting above base because teachers are in short supply.  Some states are only a 10 month contract.  I think that it would be hard to have a competitive program here with only a 10 month contract. 
I taught for 3 years after graduating from college.  I got out for 15 years and went back to teaching 8 years ago.  The biggest thing I noticed were the kids and their attitudes.  In our area of the state which is very rural and mostly grass and wheat farming, I don't have hardly any farm kids.  I have several that live in the country, but their families do something else for a living and farm or run cattle as a sideline.  I think one of the things I enjoy most about teaching ag is the relationships that you develop with the students and families.  I have some families that have kids that are not old enough to be in my ag classes, but I am still their ag teacher and help them just like they were my students.  It is satisfying to see these kids go on and become adults and be successful and know that you had a part in it.
 

DL

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SJ89 - as someone who started out wanting to be a poet (talk about a career with no money!) college (IMHO) is a time to explore - I think the push for kids to decide on a career before they enter high school is NUTS (clapping) (clapping). You also have to decide what is your driving force - if it is money then you go direction; if you want to do something you enjoy and  you think it will make a difference then you go another direction.

Many people I know make a lot of money - they aren't all that happy. Their goal is to make more money - but they still won't be happy.

Find mentors, take different jobs while at college, follow people around and see what they do- any experience you get in college will be worthwhile . Don't dismiss vet med out of hand - it is a very versatile degree and there are many teaching opportunities....if you want to talk about it let me know ;D
 

Stihlpro

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There are plenty of jobs out there in the Ag ED field.  I have been teaching AG for 8 years and have experienced it to the fullest.  If you enjoy working around kids and Ag there is no more perfect fit.  On the other hand, if you are driven to be successful, it becomes more than a job........ it becomes a lifestyle.  I'm kind of on the fence about it all because I have had to give up alot of my favorite personal activities in order to run a quality FFA Chapter.  Not to say it hasn't been rewarding, but definitely something to think about.  Good Luck and remember, you always have to do what's best for you! ;)
 

JbarL

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dragon lady said:
SJ89 - as someone who started out wanting to be a poet (talk about a career with no money!) college (IMHO) is a time to explore - I think the push for kids to decide on a career before they enter high school is NUTS (clapping) (clapping). You also have to decide what is your driving force - if it is money then you go direction; if you want to do something you enjoy and  you think it will make a difference then you go another direction.

Many people I know make a lot of money - they aren't all that happy. Their goal is to make more money - but they still won't be happy.

Find mentors, take different jobs while at college, follow people around and see what they do- any experience you get in college will be worthwhile . Don't dismiss vet med out of hand - it is a very versatile degree and there are many teaching opportunities....if you want to talk about it let me know ;D
the bad thing about winning the rat race  is .......your still a rat... ;) ....jbarl
 

DL

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JbarL said:
dragon lady said:
SJ89 - as someone who started out wanting to be a poet (talk about a career with no money!) college (IMHO) is a time to explore - I think the push for kids to decide on a career before they enter high school is NUTS (clapping) (clapping). You also have to decide what is your driving force - if it is money then you go direction; if you want to do something you enjoy and  you think it will make a difference then you go another direction.

Many people I know make a lot of money - they aren't all that happy. Their goal is to make more money - but they still won't be happy.

Find mentors, take different jobs while at college, follow people around and see what they do- any experience you get in college will be worthwhile . Don't dismiss vet med out of hand - it is a very versatile degree and there are many teaching opportunities....if you want to talk about it let me know ;D
the bad thing about winning the rat race  is .......your still a rat... ;) ....jbarl

jbar - Im confused - are you calling me a rodent or making a general statement? while some would agree with the former I agree with the latter  ;D ;D ;D
 

JbarL

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dragon lady said:
JbarL said:
dragon lady said:
SJ89 - as someone who started out wanting to be a poet (talk about a career with no money!) college (IMHO) is a time to explore - I think the push for kids to decide on a career before they enter high school is NUTS (clapping) (clapping). You also have to decide what is your driving force - if it is money then you go direction; if you want to do something you enjoy and  you think it will make a difference then you go another direction.

Many people I know make a lot of money - they aren't all that happy. Their goal is to make more money - but they still won't be happy.

Find mentors, take different jobs while at college, follow people around and see what they do- any experience you get in college will be worthwhile . Don't dismiss vet med out of hand - it is a very versatile degree and there are many teaching opportunities....if you want to talk about it let me know ;D
the bad thing about winning the rat race  is .......your still a rat... ;) ....jbarl

jbar - Im confused - are you calling me a rodent or making a general statement? while some would agree with the former I agree with the latter  ;D ;D ;D
....a general statemnet of course  dl......with your passion for poetry i thought you of course would no the author....... ;)......and i would never start trouble with you this close to  halloween... ;D...........i no im in fl.....but thats just a short broom ride away on a crisp oct evening.... ;D....the author of the quote i believe was george carlin.........jbarl
 

Limiman

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hey shortyjock
I'm at the U of I too in animal science with a prevet major. Small world lol
 

DL

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JbarL - my broom is ready - we had a great Halloween party last year - we could probably meet half way (depending on the tail wind)  ;D
 

justme

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Where's Scott Peiffer when we need him???  This guy is starting to teach ag, along with his wife.  He'd be a great one for you to talk to.  He's the guy who owns American Muscle.
 

shortyjock89

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justme said:
Where's Scott Peiffer when we need him???  This guy is starting to teach ag, along with his wife.  He'd be a great one for you to talk to.  He's the guy who owns American Muscle.

Hey thanks! I might actually try to get a hold of him and see what he has to say.  Also, thanks to all of you that have had input so far..it really does help having some outside sources giving advice..it made me re-think my decision, and I realized that it is really what I wanted to do, and I hope that you guys keep giving me advice. Thanks!
 

BudE

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ShortyJock89 you finally said something on here to make me register instead of just reading about them dang shorthorns.  First thing I'd say is slow down.  You've been in school a month, this first year will take you anywhere so have fun and get good grades.  You can worry about changing at the end of the year.  Bailey and I just had a long talk about school and what she wants to do and like I told her if it takes 5 years to get a 4 year degree that's just fine.  I've been working for 25 years and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  I do think you'd make a good teacher just from watching your interaction with other kids (excluding your sister), but it's a tough life and the rewards must come from the work not the compensation.  Whatever you decide let me know and I'll help you in anyway I can.  I would advise you that in some circles the U of I teaching school is not highly thought of.  They seem to be taught more on theory and not actual practice.  This is a very limited pool of investigation so take it for what it's worth.

How's that funnel butted, fine boned bull calf doing?  Stop by sometime on your way by the girls have 4 heifers and 2 steers in the barn, give me your opinion, it's valued.
 

DL

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BudE said:
ShortyJock89 you finally said something on here to make me register instead of just reading about them dang shorthorns.  First thing I'd say is slow down.  You've been in school a month, this first year will take you anywhere so have fun and get good grades.  You can worry about changing at the end of the year.  Bailey and I just had a long talk about school and what she wants to do and like I told her if it takes 5 years to get a 4 year degree that's just fine.  I've been working for 25 years and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  I do think you'd make a good teacher just from watching your interaction with other kids (excluding your sister), but it's a tough life and the rewards must come from the work not the compensation.  Whatever you decide let me know and I'll help you in anyway I can.  I would advise you that in some circles the U of I teaching school is not highly thought of.  They seem to be taught more on theory and not actual practice.  This is a very limited pool of investigation so take it for what it's worth.

How's that funnel butted, fine boned bull calf doing?  Stop by sometime on your way by the girls have 4 heifers and 2 steers in the barn, give me your opinion, it's valued.

BudE  (welcome) (welcome) good advice too!
 

AAOK

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Shortyjock89,
I think the most important thing I might add is:  Don't be as concerned about what you're going to do when you graduate, or what your major should be; just enjoy college life, and get your degree. 

I grew up in a family business, and always knew that's what I would do.  I started working there at the age of 12.  I always enjoyed math, and numbers, so I decided to get a degree in Accounting.  Ater two classes, I was bored with that, and decided on Gen. Bus. Admin.  My Sohpomore year, I was introduced to Recreation Management by some Jock buddies of mine.  Wow!  That's what I really wanted to do, so I changed again the first semester of my Junior year.  I still finished in 8 semesters, and worked 35 - 40 hours a week to boot.  I bought the family business, and stayed with it 'til the age of 43, which is too old to begin a career in Rec. Mgmt.  I'm now 55, and 7 years into my 5th career.  I could not have qualified for any of my last 4 professions without my diploma.  I have NEVER come anywhere close to utilizeing my chosen degree, and never will.  I'll always need the diploma. 

The average number of careers expected in your lifetime is now up to 8, according to my High School Guidance Counselor wife.  She has been in education for 20 years, with most of that as a K-12 Counselor.  She does this because of her love for the kids, certainly not for the money.  She will soon be retireing.  With a Teaching Certificate, and her years of experience, she can go to work anywhere she chooses. 

I have two grown daughters.  One, age 29 joined the workforce as a college grad. in 2000.  She is now retired as a stay-at-home Mom, and doesn't think she will ever have a full time job until the kids are grown.  The other, age 26 graduated in 2002.  She is already on career #2, and has worked her way into Management.  She has a 6 month old daughter, and is talking about going back to school to get an Education degree, so that she will always have the same time off as the Kid(s).

Don't fret about what, when, where, & why.  Just get a diploma.
 
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