Mrs. Moise shares her life as a teacher

Mrs. Moise shares her life as a teacher

October 2020 – Mrs. Mandy Moise has taught multiple classes since she became a teacher at O. Henry in 2005. She has a degree in English from UT and has loved living in and exploring Austin since 1993. Right now is one of the most challenging times she has ever experienced as a teacher, but it has come with some uplifting surprises as well. 

Question:  Why did you choose to be a teacher? 

Moise:  My mom was a teacher; she has been an educator for over 30 years. I always loved running into her students, like at the mall, and the way they would always compliment her. But also, I just like talking to people and being in a high energy environment. A lot of jobs are just sitting, but you guys are so unpredictable, and the course of the year has so many things to look forward to and every day could be different in teaching. 

Question:  What subject or lesson do you find most fun to teach? 

Moise:  In Texas History, l love teaching about the Native Americans, and I wish we could spend more time learning about them.  In the spring, we do a mock trial where we have a judge, a jury, a witness, and a lawyer and that is kind of a very fun activity that I am always looking forward to. I hope that we can still pull this off during the pandemic.

Question:  Since you are a history teacher, why do you think it is important to learn history at school? 

Moise:  As we are coming up on the presidential election, understanding history, understanding how we are now and how we change our future, and connecting those concepts is important. I want students to learn history because when they are in charge of leading the government and leading the future, they will have a foundation to build on. Because one day, you guys are going to be the decision-makers.

Question:  What does a good day at school look like for you?

Moise:  My favorite day is field trip day, even though those are a little bit stressful. But, I love the opportunity of taking you guys exploring colleges and the grounds of the Texas Capitol, and just going around doing very fun and exciting stuff.

Question:  What do you think the culture of O. Henry is like? 

Moise:  I think O. Henry is really unique in the Austin makeup. Some schools are more like the same, culturally. However, I think we have a fair amount of different cultures, and we have people from all over the city. I don’t think that we are just a neighborhood school; I feel like that we are a larger community than just that.

Question:  What has your experience at O. Henry been like?

Moise:  O. Henry is the only school that I have taught at, and my husband works here too.  I love it here, and you could never get me to leave. I think that we are all lucky to have such a good staff, principal, and people that are supportive in general. I think that it is a place that we could have fun while learning.

Question:  Especially because we cannot do school the usual way, what do you think students should do to make the most of this time? 

Moise:  I feel like this is a question that a lot of the teachers and I have talked about. In my Zoom meetings, I have really tried to make the most of our time together, so try to stay engaged because it is easy to check your phone, go to another website, or do some other thing. Just remind yourself that you could do those things later and try to do what you are supposed to do.

Question:  What are your hobbies and interests? 

Moise:  I like reading, traveling, and trying new and different foods. But probably my weirdest hobby is collecting postcards. I have a lot of postcards, and I send postcards to my friends, too. Just like weird and quirky ones. When I go on vacation, I like to send myself a postcard of what I’m doing on vacation.

We can all feel sad, mad, and frustrated, but to connect in any way that we can, through Zoom, and participating is the key to really going through this without losing it.

— Mrs. Moise

Question:  Do you have any tips for your students? 

Moise:  I would say try lots of different things. This is your time starting middle school and just join an elective, a club, a class, and just see what you could find out about yourself.

Question: Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 

Moise: Just for your audience, I would say that this is history in the making and that we are all in this together. We can all feel sad, mad, and frustrated, but to connect in any way that we can, through Zoom, and participating is the key to really going through this without losing it.