Attending National FFA Convention his freshman year of high school with six friends hooked Jason Dossett into the FFA, but it was the continued impact of his agriculture teachers, Jon Waters and Mark Dowlen at Heritage FFA in Maryville, Tennessee that later paved the way for his career in agricultural education.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2011, Jason started teaching agriculture at Daniel Boone High School in Tennessee. While working with his students, his key goal was to build relationships with everyone that came into his classroom to, “make sure they know someone cares for them.” During his 11 years of teaching, Jason started and earned his master’s degree, learned from his co-teachers, and watched students learn from each other in peer-to-peer relationships.
Jason recalled a time when his class was assigned an article review and one of the students who struggled in reading was determined to complete it, stand up in front of the class, and provide the review. On the Friday the assignment was due, another student, known for not being very serious in class, sat and helped this student to read through the article and complete the assignment. “I always remembered that, and it was probably a negative for future students because it showed me that everyone can do it. We had some really cool FFA moments and won some awards at state contests, but that moment in my first year of teaching really sticks out to me.”
Now, Jason joins the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Florida as a first-year Ph.D. student, looking forward to a different challenge. After working through the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason saw the need for teacher support and hopes to provide research to help address this need through valuable professional development experiences.
AEC is celebrating National #TeachAg Day with NAAE on September 15, highlighting students and alumni who are making a difference in the lives of students and peers. If you’re interested in studying agricultural education, visit the UF AEC website at https://aec.ifas.ufl.edu/
for more information about getting started with UF!