Byron's Babbles

You Want Me To Do What? Teach?

Posted in Coaching, Education, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 4, 2011

I try to read two books per week as part of my own personal professional development. One of the books I read this past week was The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work by Jon Gordon. This was an incredible book that I read in two sittings because once you start you can’t put it down. Then yesterday I had two individuals who regularly read my blog say that they really liked my book reviews. I promptly replied that I had not been doing any book reviews, and then I realized as they explained that generally my blogs revolve around something I have read. Amazingly, this made me realize just how powerful my two books a week are to my growth.

One statement that Gordon made in this book really jumped out at me and made me realize how important we all are in the roles we are meant to play. He said, “I’ve learned we are all teachers and students, and a life touches a life that touches a life.” So for this post I would like to share how it came to be that I would be a teacher. Some of you have heard me tell this story publicly many times, but it truly is a course of events that revolved around a teacher, Dr. Hobart Jones, and a student – me. Here’s the story.

My teaching career did not begin with the same story that many teachers share. I did not have an epiphany when I said to myself, “I want to be a teacher.” My journey as an educator began during my sophomore year at Purdue University when Professor Dr. Hobart Jones pulled me into his office and asked if I had ever considered teaching. When I said, “no,” he explained that he saw a talent in me for educating and wanted me to double major in Animal Science and Agricultural Education. It is amazing how someone like Dr. Jones can make a huge impact on someone’s life.  His inspiration and personal interest helped me to deal with the challenges of a double major, making my 27 year educational career possible. Without Dr. Jones’ personal interest in my abilities, I probably would have missed this opportunity. It is his example of true caring that I strive to emulate every day of my teaching career.

A narrative of my professional career would not be complete without mentioning my latest chapter, starting the Agriculture Department at Lebanon in 2004. As an optimistic risk taker, the opportunity to start a program where no program existed was just that – a tremendous opportunity. It has been exhilarating to start a program, establish the facilities, and lead the team in building a program that now has 584 students enrolled. It has also enabled me to teach rigorous Purdue University dual credit courses in Advanced Life Science. As the department head of three other young teachers, less than 20 years of combined experience, I have learned how to be a true servant leader. In other words, as Gordon suggested, a life touches a life (Dr. Jones to me), a life touching a life (me to the teachers I mentor), and a life touching another life (me to all the students I facilitate learning with every day).

Remember to take full advantage of all the opportunities to touch the lives you come in contact with!

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] be traced back to a servant leader at Purdue University named Dr. Hobe Jones. You can read more by clicking here to read my post entitled “You Want Me To Do What? Teach? There is not enough internet space in […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: