2022 GrowNextGen Teacher Leader of the Year award winner
GrowNextGen teacher leader

Shelby Guthrie

Teacher at Greenfield Exempted Village Schools

Dodds teaches Plant Science, Animal Science, Agricultural Exploration, Natural Resources, Food Science, FFA, Agriscience, and National Parks Agriculture & Science. She is an FFA Advisor works on Agriculture Program Development.

What about teaching excites you?
I love teaching students to amplify their voices and discover their passions, and to make learning interactive and experimental in the classroom. It is a joy and a privilege to watch students develop a passion and learn to incorporate that passion into daily life and learning.

What was your “aha” moment when you realized the value of using agriculture as a vehicle to teach science?
Agriculture is everywhere. I’m very interested in theatre, and I saw a connection between performing arts and science when I was helping to construct a set. Learning how to properly build a front working half of a house took a lot of knowledge from previous agriculture classes! Understanding pulley systems, electrical operation, and physical mechanics all helped with that task.

How do you help students make the industry or real-world connection to what they’re learning?
When exposing students to new ideas, it is important to let them explore. For example, my students are learning about food around the world and why there are so many ways of preparing one dish. They have been researching how to eventually build a food truck at the end of the semester with the knowledge that they have gained. They are also going to be developing and cooking their country’s specific main dish, to have another “scent” to follow (pun intended). Your five senses are so important—they complete one other and hard-wire new memories in your brain.