Kansas State University


Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tara Glidden Shares her Teaching Experience

In the fall of 2012, I transferred from Modesto Junior College in California to Kansas State University. Throughout my time at K-State, the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education has been a huge support system and has been there to guide me through each step of my educational career.

Tara Gildden poses for a picture with her FFA students.
Tara Gildden poses for a picture with her FFA students.

I am currently at the halfway point of my teaching internship at Fort Scott High School in the southeast FFA district. The chapter has 118 students, and it offers a range of classes. I have been teaching all eight classes since early March and truly enjoy planning lessons as well as interacting with the students in the classroom, along with leadership and career development events.

In early October, I emailed my cooperating teacher Kyle Parks, and briefly introduced myself, and set up a date to observe his classroom. Parks quickly responded to my email with “I don’t know who is more nervous you or I.” This actually made me anxious but also excited. Mr. Parks has been teaching for 32 years, and I have the immense opportunity of being his first student teacher. I was nervous to begin student teaching but also ready for the challenge. In the beginning,  It was a small test to be the first student teacher in the agriculture department. The students really did not know how to respond and  interact with a student teacher. After about two weeks, the students really on board and came to me for help with their speeches, recordbooks and other classroom assignments.

Having a firmly established three-circle model in the classroom is extremely important, and the students at Fort Scott have reacted and responded well to the different teaching styles and hands-on laboratories inside the classroom. I could not have asked for a better cooperating teacher, students and community to work with as I transition into my own program next year at Rawlins County High School in Atwood, Kansas.

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