Amanda Borchers finds it hard to contain her enthusiasm for chemistry and biology at Perry Community High School.
“This is my second year teaching in Perry, and it is my first teaching job, “she says.
Borchers, who majored in biology at Wartburg College in Waverly, is certified in all the sciences. She decided to teach because she loves science and enjoys learning how the world works.
“Sometimes I get real excited about it, and my students say, ‘Calm down, Ms. Borchers, it’s not that exciting,’ ” she says.
“Teaching has been even better than what I expected it would be,” she says. “Everyone says the first two years are the hardest, but if you can get through those first two years, it gets easier.”
Halfway through her second year, Borchers said she is comfortable with her routine and curriculum but is always looking at how things can be better to help make the students more successful.
“I love to use technology in my classroom. I have a cart of iPads in my room; we use them for online programs on Canvas, a learning management application,” she says.
She uses Canvas to keep practice tests, lectures, notes and more where students can access the information, whether at school or in the open. The students also use it on review days in class to get ready for a test.
“I just love it here. I love seeing all the kinds of students we have,” Borchers says about Perry’s diverse student population. “I like being able to disprove stereotypes.”
While she enjoys her students, she also expects a lot from them.
“I want them to grow and learn to take on those expectations. Sometimes I think I work harder than my students to make them successful. I do have all the confidence in my students that they will be successful. I feel all my students are capable of learning,” she says.
Borchers likes to show her students the exciting parts of science. One example is making flames come up from her hand. She mixes a bowl of water and dish soap until there are lots of bubbles. She then scoops the bubbles into her hand and has a student light them with a long stick and match. In a flash, the bubbles burn, creating a flame. The students find the experiment particularly interesting.