Ann Engle – 7th grade teacher at Ingleside Middle School
Nominated by: Levi Dicker
How long have you been a teacher?
I have been teaching at Ingleside for 27 years. I have also taught at the Clarendon School in the Osborn School District.
What subjects have you taught?
I taught science and social studies at Clarendon for a few years at the very beginning of my career, before marriage and children.
I taught life management the first few years I taught at Ingleside (beginning in 1992) because I needed something part-time. I started teaching social studies at Ingleside around 2001. I’ve enjoyed teaching all these subjects but social studies has always been my favorite.
How do you feel about being nominated?
I feel honored and privileged! Particularly because the nomination came from one of my students. It was such a surprise.
What is your favorite part about being a teacher?
I would have to say it’s when I’m teaching my students and they have that “aha” moment.
Did you always want to become a teacher?
Yes! I started a school on Saturdays in a playhouse in my backyard with my two best friends, Frances Lax and Debbie Coor, when we were in grade school. The children in the neighborhood “attended” our school.
Are there any unique teaching techniques you use outside of the classroom?
For years, Karen Treon – an Arcadia mom/local attorney – has dedicated many hours to involve all Ingleside seventh grade students in a mock trial experience. Volunteer parents and attorneys from the community work with the students helping them prepare for the case. Students conduct a full mock trial, starting with opening arguments, presentation of evidence and questioning of witnesses, cross examination and closing statements.
It’s always inspiring to see the students dressed up and fighting their case in the court room set up in our school library. The students truly get a feel for the judicial system, due process, our civic duty as citizens to participate as jurors and many career options available to them in the legal field. This is just one example of how wonderful Arcadia parents volunteer their time to make the education process relevant to life.
How do you keep students engaged?
I use games, simulations, investigating primary sources, Socratic seminars, debates and mock trial. Student involvement in the learning process is very important. I want to keep them excited about the subject matter.
What is your favorite part of the Arcadia area?
I’m a native Phoenician, and the feel of the neighborhood and the family involvement in the school community is my favorite thing about the area. The tight-knit Arcadia community is truly dedicated to the education of their children.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn,” Ben Franklin.