The sign on the door to enter Ms. Bull’s classroom says:  

In this classroom,

You are kind

You are a leader 

You are respected

You are valued

You are teachable

You are loved

Ms. Bull, an agricultural educator at Dallas High School, has created an environment in her room that proves the words on her door to be true. 

I’ve been an outsider in 40 different classrooms now, so picking up on classroom energy and environment is something I’m used to. The energy in this classroom is electrifying. The students are diverse, but a sense of unity is felt in each class period. Ending a long week in her classroom moved my heart and led to an important realization- love should guide our motivations.

At the beginning of class, Ms. Bull encourages her students to share information, good news, or any thoughts with the class- and students do it! Throughout the period, she engages them in meaningful conversations and is genuine with her responses. Every student, no matter their background or abilities, is encouraged and welcome to participate in every aspect of class. 

When we make decisions, it’s easy to go with our instinct- do what’s most comfortable. Not participating in an extracurricular activity or not allowing ourselves to pursue big dreams are motivated by comfortability. Despite this requiring more effort and energy, Ms. Bull chooses to work hard to maintain her classroom environment because she loves her students. Her motivation isn’t coming from a place of comfort but from a place of love. This is a quality we can all work to be better at.

By the end of the day, I was able to gather valuable lessons for everyday life outside of classrooms. 

  1. Go out of your way to include others, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  2. Seek conversation; don’t wait for it. 
  3. Let your love for others, yourself, and your purpose motivate you to do these things. 

As my year of service to Oregon FFA in a blue jacket comes to an end, I’m so grateful to be able to reflect on what I’ve done, who I’ve met, and the lessons I’ve learned. Thank you, Ms. Bull, for teaching me some good human skills, and thank you, Oregon FFA, for allowing me to learn from you. 

To practice finding motivation in love rather than comfortability, ask someone about something exciting happening in their life today.

With love always, 

Alicia Venegas

2023-2024 State Reporter