Taking on the Classroom
CALS student prepares for career as agricultural teacher
Chelsey Sharp has a passion for education. She will earn a degree in agricultural education from the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in May 2019 and is spending her final semester at U of I student teaching at Elgin High School in Elgin, Oregon.
Sharp is excited to gain classroom experience, involve herself in a community and have the opportunity to watch students have light-bulb moments when she’s teaching them something new and it all clicks. She hopes to find a teaching position in Oregon after graduation, ideally at a high school with a smaller agricultural program. She will become the third generation in her family to teach, following her grandmother and mother.
I just have a passion for education and if I can change it for one student, and give them a safe place to be themselves, plant a seed for them to find their passion, then I’d have met my goal as an educator.Chelsey Sharp
Sharp grew up in Hermiston, Oregon, on a hobby farm, but didn’t realize her passion for agricultural education right away. She joined FFA as a junior in high school, showing livestock and taking a few agricultural classes. After graduation, she enrolled at Blue Mountain Community College and spent time teaching 4-H youth how to show livestock. That experience made her realize how much she enjoyed teaching.
“My dad just looked at me one day and said, ‘Why don’t you teach agriculture?’” Sharp said.
Sharp began looking at agricultural education programs and discovered U of I. She visited campus and was impressed by the opportunities, the small town vibe, the proximity to her hometown, and the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.
“You walk into that building and feel like you’re ready to conquer the world, and they’ll prepare you for more than you think is possible,” she said.
Once she arrived in Moscow, Sharp decided to jump into the full CALS experience. She joined the Meat Animal Evaluation Team, Collegiate FFA, CALS Ambassadors, CALS Student Affairs Council and the Sigma Alpha Agricultural Sorority. She also attended national events like the National Association of Agricultural Educators conference and the National FFA Convention to expand her knowledge.
“The University of Idaho is not just a school, it’s a family and a community — it’s like your second home,” Sharp said. “There’s so many different opportunities and hands-on experiences.”
Article by Hannah Doumit, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Published in February 2019