The Hartsville Vidette is in the process of running question-and-answer profiles of the Trousdale County educators who have been selected as the teacher of the year in their respective schools.
We conclude the series with a glance at Dan Dickerson, who is an agriculture instructor at Trousdale County High School …
Name … Dan Dickerson (also known as “Coach Dan”)
School … Trousdale County High School
Age … 52
What grade/subject do you teach? Agriculture/vocational classes
How long have you been in education? 28 years
How many years have you taught at your current school? 28 years
What is something unique about you — whether it’s a hobby, skill or past accomplishment — that most people likely wouldn’t be aware of? I use to play rugby.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time (hobbies, etc.)? Farming and hunting
Is there anything unique about your teaching situation that you’d like to detail? It’s very hands-on.
How would you describe your teaching style? Hands-on
Could you share a couple of strategies for how that you keep students engaged and motivated? I try to relate everything to real-world situations.
Have you ever encountered a challenge in teaching that required you to rethink your teaching methods and/or approach? Yes … I have had students with disabilities, which can be challenging if you do mostly hands-on teaching.
What is different, unique and/or enjoyable about the school that you are currently teaching at? We have one of the best shops of any school that I have ever been in.
Why did you choose teaching as a career path? The good Lord led me to this path.
What is the most fulfilling part of teaching? It’s seeing students achieve things they thought they couldn’t do and excel.
What is the most challenging part of teaching? It’s the lack of parental involvement.
How has your view of teaching changed since you first embarked on your teaching career? Kids will always be kids, but society has changed people’s morals.
How have you seen the profession change over the course of your career, and how do you see it continuing to evolve going forward? We need to teach more life skills. We worry too much about a test and not enough about putting out good, quality human beings.
If there was any one variable that you could control or enhance to help with the educational process, what would that be and why? Helping young people realize all the different opportunities that they have in the world.
Who is somebody who has been especially impactful in your teaching career, and why did he/she make such an impact on you? I have been blessed with many great role models in my career, and I have tried to learn from each and every one of them.
Could you share what has been one of your most memorable moments in teaching? It’s having students come and tell you that you made a difference in their life.
What is the most meaningful thing a student could say to you? It’s saying thanks and really knowing that they really mean it.
How would you ideally like to be characterized or remembered as a teacher? I want to be remembered as the teacher who really did care about each and every student.