Clay Drake | Guthrie High School
Before I met Mr. Drake I had already met several students that had spoken extremely highly of him. I'm thrilled to say that now Mr. Drake and I are becoming fast friends. Well, we are friends. Actually, his wife gave my son money so he could eat the other day at the basketball game. And, she took him to the game. She was prepared to take him back home too. So, yea, we are becoming fast family. With that being said, Mr. Drake has also convinced me that both my children that are still in school need to be in FFA in some capacity. FFA stands for Future Farmers of America. It's teachers like him that allow me to understand the difference teachers make in students' lives.
Have fun reading a little of his story and thoughts.
Give us your name.
Where do you teach?
Guthrie High School
How long have you been teaching?
What grade do you teach?
8th - 12th
What is your super power to be able to rock out the work you do?
Enthusiasm I like to motivate students to continue to try new things and not be scared to get outside their comfort zones. I like to see students overcome fears and see that when they get out and try new things it only makes them stronger.
What made you want to teach?
I had great teachers growing up especially my Agriculture Education teacher in school. He always had great life lessons that I could relate to and I still do to this day. Also my passion and love of Agriculture and wanting others to see why its important they be educated about the food we eat and where it comes from. Also the idea that we need them to step up and be involved in Agriculture.
What gets you up everyday to go give your all to teaching?
The students, so many don't have that someone in their life to push and believe in them so I want to fill in that role and help them see that the world is theirs for the taking and that they will always have someone to believe in them and care about them.
If you could change one thing about education, what would you change?
Parent involvement, I see that the toughest thing for kids, teachers, schools is the need for parents to become involved and help. Everyone has busy schedules but sometimes you just have to make plans to be there and be involved.
Educators, friends, parents, role models, advisors, and amazing.
What is one tip you would share to be a successful teacher?
Never give up on that student you don't think cares about your class, sometimes you just have to break down that wall they have up and show them you are there for them. I live with the idea that no one will care what you know until they know you care.
What would you do if you were not teaching?
Manage a cattle ranch
The last time you cried at the end of the day teaching was because of what?
Would be because a student just wouldn't try or put out effort and see that they could accomplish so much.
Who inspires you in your work and why?
My wife, she is always positive even on days I don't feel I have it she inspires me and pushes me to be better and I feel always is my biggest fan.
How would you describe a conversation with one of your students?
That they love to tell you about what they are doing or something great they accomplished. We recently held a leadership conference and they were taught to juggle and some were naturals and some needed work but this one student practiced all weekend to come in and show me he had mastered it.
What is it that the world does not know about teachers?
That they never leave it at the end of school or on a Friday, it is something they home with them every nigh and every weekend, they are always thinking of how they can reach one more kid, or find money to fund one more class project, or how they can help their school do something better for the students.
Share your biggest joy teaching as of today?
To see students who didn't believe in themselves find themselves and be successful, no matter what my students go on to do be it college, a trade school, or just work place I love to hear their stories and see them continue to succeed.
One thing that makes you smile?
My family because they are always supportive, loving, and caring
Give me a name and school of another teacher I should interview that doesn't teach at your school.
Marty Jones, Ag Instructor at Elgin, OK