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Teacher Feature: Cameron Dale
B.S. in Agricultural Education and M.S. in Agricultural Education
Current School Site:
Newcastle High School (New Castle Public Schools in Newcastle, Oklahoma)
8th-12th grade agricultural education
Number of Years Teaching:
Why did you choose to become a teacher, and what do you most love about it?
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I can remember “playing teacher” at a young age with all my stuffed animals using worksheets my mom had given me. I started in agricultural education as a ninth-grader; the experience helped transform me from shy and unsure to comfortable and confident. During my senior year, I had a teacher tell me I would make an excellent teacher. That push was what I needed to fully commit to pursuing a career in agricultural education. As a teacher, I get to watch my students change and grow as individuals. I love helping students apply concepts and teaching them skills needed to be successful in college and the workplace. Building relationships with students through their participation in the classroom, National FFA and supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs) is extremely rewarding. There’s nothing better than helping students learn, explore and evolve into confident young adults and knowing they are prepared for success.
How did your OSU experience prepared you for the classroom?
The knowledge I gained from my time at OSU gave me the solid foundation and confidence I needed to persevere through obstacles I faced, especially during my first year teaching. I continue to receive support from professors and staff in the agricultural education department. I’m very grateful for the training I received as an undergraduate and graduate student at Oklahoma State.
Last year, you were named the Oklahoma CareerTech New Teacher of the Year. What was your reaction to receiving that honor?
I was shocked. Each of the nominees was accomplishing such innovative and amazing things in their classrooms and programs; they were all deserving of the honor! When we stood on stage together as they announced my name, it didn’t register at first. I was humbled to be chosen, but also proud of what I had achieved so early in my career.
What message do you want to communicate to the public about the teaching profession?
Trust us. Trust that we know how to do our jobs and do them well. Trust that we are here to ensure all students are taught in a manner that benefits their styles and allows them to find success. Then, from that trust, support us. Support us by providing the resources and funding we need to operate. Support us by allowing us to make more decisions on the local level that will help our students and community. Teachers do not work for the money; we work for our students. Help us make sure our students are cared for, taught well and provided experiences to grow and succeed.