Raised on a small family farm in Hundred, West Virginia, Annie Fox always had an interest in agriculture. Active in 4-H and FFA, she discovered a desire to share her love for and knowledge of the industry with others.
“I knew I wanted to do something that brought students like myself the same amazing opportunities for growth and education that I had,” she said. “I decided that becoming an agriculture teacher would allow me to share my love of all things agriculture and give me the opportunity to become an FFA advisor and help students grow and experience an organization that so deeply impacted me.”
During her time as a student teacher, Fox developed and taught hands-on curriculum to more than 80 high school students.
She was even fortunate enough to complete her internship fully in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While challenging, it was an amazing experience and I met a lot of wonderful students and staff,” she said.
Why did you choose your major?
Throughout my youth I was active in 4-H and was raised on a small family farm. I always had an interest in agriculture. My background gave me a love for agriculture and a desire to share my knowledge. As I became involved in FFA as a high school student, my passion intensified. I knew I wanted to do something that brought students, like myself, the amazing opportunities for growth and education that I had. At that time, I decided that becoming an agriculture teacher would allow me to share my love of all things agriculture and give me the opportunity to become an FFA advisor and help students grow and experience an organization that had so deeply impacted me. It was an easy choice to make.
Best part of your time at WVU?
My best experiences at WVU happened my first semester here. I began my college journey at Potomac State College, so I came to WVU Morgantown as a junior. I was interested in graduating a semester early, so I took teaching methods courses my first semester here, and was able to take them with the 2020 AGEE cohort. Those were the most fun and challenging classes I took at WVU. It gave me an opportunity to be involved in a learning community where ideas were constantly flowing and honest learning was taking place. It also gave me an opportunity to meet great people and ag teachers. This was an experience I’m truly thankful for.
Most difficult or most unexpected?
The most difficult and unexpected part of my college journey was definitely student teaching through a pandemic. I have often called this the year of building the plane as we flew it. Prior to this year, no one in education had any idea how to teach during a pandemic, so a large portion of what we did wasn’t taught to us, it was created as we went. Pandemic teaching in unlike anything I was prepared for, and it was really the challenge of a lifetime. I learned on the fly in so many situations. I adapted numerous plans I had and learned that I needed to, and deserved to, give myself some grace in this process. I had an amazing placement school in Preston High and an incredible cooperating teacher that made this challenging experience manageable and fun. I wouldn’t have had such a great student teaching experience otherwise.
What would you do differently?
There is nothing about my college experience that I would do differently. I have always been a believer in divine timing and that my life is guided by God. Every difficult moment along this journey has been an opportunity for me to grow and learn. Every amazing experience I’ve had, I would have missed out on had my timing been different. This hasn’t always been the easiest journey, but looking back on it from the finish line, it was always the journey hand-picked for me to take. From Potomac State to WVU I’ve met wonderful people and had life-changing experiences, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Advice for future students?
My advice for future students is to find what you’re passionate about, what excites you, and chase it. Make sure that you’re taking this journey for yourself. Support from family and friends is great and necessary, but at the end of the day, if you aren’t doing this for you, you’re going to miss out on so much. Always remember why you’re here, whatever that looks like for you, and use that as motivation for those tough moments. Be open to change and embrace new ideas. Just because you’ve always thought a certain way, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind in light of new information. That is growth. We all want to come out of college with a degree, but if that’s the only thing you get from this
experience, you’re missing out. And finally, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Listen to those with more knowledge and experience than you, but always remember, at the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone and this experience is personal. Advocate for your education and always trust yourself.
In tackling your degree and coming to WVU, what were you most afraid of? Was your fear realized? How did you overcome it?
I come from a very small town and didn’t want to attend a college where I was “just a number.” That led me to start my journey with WVU at Potomac State College in Keyser, WV. It was a small college where my professors knew me by name and it was an amazing place to begin my college journey. By the time I came to WVU Morgantown as a junior, I was able to take classes specific to my major in the Davis College, and again, had professors who knew me by name. That personal connection was always very important to me, and by choosing a college path that was right for me, I was always able to find it.