Smalley, S. W., & Rank, B. D. Preservice Teacher Perceptions of the Role of an Agriculture Teacher during Their Early Field Experience. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(2), 99-108. doi: 10.5032/jae.2019.02099
School-based agriculture teachers (SBAE) hold many roles inside and outside of the school. Identifying and understanding the many roles an agriculture teacher may have in their career is an important part of an early field experience (EFE). In this study, EFE students (n = 18) submitted written reflections focused on the role of an agriculture teacher. Open coding of the preservice teacher reflections revealed five themes including work-life balance, public relations, role of an FFA advisor, student success, and school responsibilities. Codes within these five themes indicate a student-centered approach among agriculture teachers. Additionally, EFE students described many school responsibilities outside of the agriculture program that may contribute to a work-life imbalance among agriculture teachers. It is recommended that teacher education programs have current practicing teachers be engaged as part of the preparation process for pre-service students to learn about agriculture teacher roles. Consideration needs to be taken when selecting EFE sites to ensure students are receiving a quality experience, which reinforces the teacher preparation program objectives.