By Dia Gill | Web Managing Editor
For 10 years now Ms. Ranielle Moore has taught high school business classes, ranging from Prep for College & Careers, Business Law and Ethics, Fashion Merchandising, Accounting and more. Her efforts in the classroom have not gone unnoticed, as she was named AHS Teacher of the Year in 2018 and most recently won the Martha Lea & Bill Armstrong Teacher award.
The Armstrong Teacher Educator Award provides financial support for recipients to work with faculty and undergraduates at Indiana University. Teachers around the state are recognized for excellence in the classroom and brought to IU to work with future teachers.
Moore learned of her win during her fashion merchandising class.
“I actually cried,” she said. “Mr. Shockley walked into my seventh period fashion class and announced it. I went from shocked, to happy, to overwhelmed, to humbled. I ultimately feel blessed.”
Despite her current success, the African Diaspora co-sponsor and fashion merchandising coordinator did not always know she wanted to be a teacher.
“During my undergraduate experience at Indiana University, I worked with amazing professors and advisors, and during my student teaching experience, I realized how much I loved the challenge of working with high school students,” said Moore. “I did not want to leave those students, and it was the first time in my life that I knew that I was helping to change young peoples’ lives by giving them a voice.”
When it comes to her work inside the classroom, Moore sees herself as a “think outside of the box” type of person, making classroom discussions applicable to real life and giving students a space to express themselves.
“I love to take a topic and challenge students to apply it to their lives. Nothing in my lessons are absolute. Students have the freedom to dive into material in a way that forces them to think differently. We often do activities such as ‘Take a Stand.’ This is a way for students to express themselves in a stress-free ‘safe zone’ before learning a new topic. This is also a way for me to gauge how I am doing as their teacher.”
Moore makes a point to stress communication between her students, seeing it as an essential skill for life.
“Communication is such a determinate of success, yet students are not always given the opportunity to do so in stress-free way. By providing these moments of self-discovery, students are learning life skills that will help them become better thinkers,” she said.
For other teachers, Moore advises a reversal in traditional roles, with teachers learning from their students.
“I think it is important to learn from students. I know one may think that this is giving students a lot of power, but I have learned more from my students than anyone else.”