By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News
Ashley Kemp Moore grew up in Ann Arbor and attended Allen Elementary, Scarlett Middle School and Community High School. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a double major in integrated sciences and reading. After student teaching at Allen Elementary School, she became the Science Enrichment Coordinator while doing Title 1 work for a year. Moore then became a long-term fourth grade substitute teacher at Lawton Elementary before she became a first grade teacher at Lawton for two years.
This fall, she moved over to A2 STEAM at Northside, where she teaches fifth grade.
She and her husband, Chris Moore, and their 1-year-old son, Teddy, live in a little house on a lake in Gregory. They spend family time fishing, hiking and boating, sometimes joined by their dog Wilson or cat Julius.
The Moores also love to travel and explore northern Michigan, and enjoy summer weekends at his family’s extensive property on the Thunder Bay River.
What made you decide to become a teacher? I believe that the authentic educational experiences that were afforded to me as a child at Allen Elementary influenced my decision to become an educator. The dynamic teachers that I was blessed with as a child instilled a passion for life long learning. I intend to pass this on, and continue to be a life long learner. Learning and growing from my students everyday is a priority of mine.
What keeps you motivated? My husband and son are my biggest cheerleaders. They influence my decisions in and out of the classroom everyday. And, 2: My team. I work with the most amazing team of teachers. Cindy Johengen and Brandon Vince have elevated my teaching in ways that would be impossible independently.
How would you characterize your teaching style? Love, respect and high expectations. I strive to be explicit in these behaviors with my students everyday. I model how to insert these beliefs into all areas—soft skills as well as academic goals.
What is the most rewarding part about teaching? Teachers change lives every day. Seeing an impact on a community from the collaborative working environment that teacher’s foster.
What are your biggest challenges? Teaching in a creative way that is authentic to my student’s needs in a standardized environment. Pushing the boundaries between (boxed and what kids need). This is the greatest gift of working at steam, my colleagues are masters at this.
Do you have a mentor? Are you a mentee? I have two master teachers as mentors: Cindy Johengen, who teaches at STEAM, and Laurie Moore, who teaches at Lawton. Both are passionate in developing young teachers.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a teacher? Whatever direction your education takes you—if you find something you are passionate about, do it. Today I am a teacher and I change lives. Tomorrow I may choose to be a social worker and change lives that way. My passion is changing lives. Teaching is my vehicle to do that.
If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing? I would be in the sciences. I originally started college with the intent of becoming a physical anthropologist. I still have a passion for this field and continue to read books and educate myself in it.
What do you wish people knew about the teaching profession? Every teacher I have worked with loves his or her jobs. There is no other way to do it. You either love it, or you aren’t in it. Being a great teacher is not a 40-hour-per-week job. It is an every day, every hour job. It is sometimes a 3 a.m. job. My most memorable moments of my first year at STEAM have to be the many nights I was up with my infant son. I kept a journal by the rocking chair so I could do the 3 a.m. feedings and brainstorm ideas for my team at the same time. This was and is my best thinking time.
What do you think is unique about being an AAPS teacher? The dynamic and inspirational community we work with.
What are the perks of working at A2STEAM? Working every day with staff that is passionate about teaching.