It seems like everyone is getting ready to go back to school. The newspaper is overrun by back to school sales ads. The weather is getting a little cooler (only a little). The youth in my ward are starting to complain about the end of summer. Wal-mart is filled with spiral-bound notebooks.
This is the first year I'm NOT going back to school. Obviously I went to school every year from preschool to senior year at RHS (Go Silverwolves!) and then I went straight through 4 years of College at Utah State (Go Aggies! What is an aggie anyway?) and then I got a job teaching chemistry at AMES for two years (Go Nerdy kids!).
AMES is a public charter school which means that it is free and there is open enrollment with a cap at 400 students. It is a very small school and I think that is one of its greatest strengths. AMES stands for Academy for Math, Engineering, and Science and we tried to focus on giving kids opportunities to excel in those areas although the school had a great arts, social studies, and english programs as well.
Most people have the mistaken understanding that AMES is only for smart kids. Not true. In fact during enrollment we would focus on underprivledged, minority, lower economic status, and potential first generation college students. It is true that we did grab the attention of some brilliant MIT bound students, but most of the students were not this way.
I LOVED teaching. I LOVED my students. Being in such a small school, I got to know most of my students very, very well. In fact, I still keep in touch with many of them. Many of them have added me as their friend on facebook (not the other way around). I even received emails from a couple of them this summer.
Here is an email from my student Nathan. He would always stay after class asking me girl advise:
Anyways I'm sorry I never had the time to write an e-mail. I have been very busy with Canada and all, never got on a computer. So how is your summer going? Are you excited about your baby coming soon? Will you visit with your baby sometime? Well what ever happens enjoy it! hoping to talk to ya some more soon!
(AKA) Your most awesome student! =D
Here is part of an email from another student JP. I wasn't even aware that he liked me all that much, but he wrote me a sweet email:
How are you? How are things going? It's boring not talking to you every other day. Next year is going to be way lame without you at AMES. How's the baby doing? :) I'm doing pretty well. Actually very well.
It makes me school-sick. I wish I could go back, but then again I am very excited for this new chapter of my life. In reality I get to be the ultimate teacher: mother.
I had an opportunity to go to Washington DC with 4 of my students last fall for the NCSSSMST (the world's longest acronym) conference. The National Consortium of Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathmatics, Science, and Technology. The first day I tried very hard to establish myself as the teacher of the group but soon gave up when I realized everyone else just thought I was a student. Oh, well it was more fun that way.