Alumni Working at ASH: Carla, Class of 1994
“15 years later I'm still here. When I think back I realize that I've seen and been through so much transition in how we teach. I love being here at ASH. “ In this article series, we will introduce you to some of the ASH students who came back full circle to now work at ASH. Meet Carla, Class of 1994, who was at ASH as a middle school student and has been teaching our Early Childhood students for the last 15 years.
When were you a student at ASH?
I was a student at ASH from 1989-1991. I started out at one of the old buildings in Scheveningen, and I lived through the move to this building in 1991. I was part of the big campus move! As a middle schooler it was super fun, I remember being excited to be in this new building. I remember the old building was like a maze trying to get to classrooms. There were little stairways to go here and there, as it was an old historic building. The cafeteria was just this little storage-like room, the gym was tiny and we had to go to another building for arts by bus. And as a kid that was fun, let's go to arts on the bus! But moving to the big new campus was really exciting as a little middle school kid.
I remember when the Queen (Beatrix) came to open the campus, I was part of the chorus that sang for her led by (then choir teacher) Gary Cramer. My sister sang in the chorus too for the Queen's visit. I don't remember what we sang (probably the school song Tell me Tell me). I remember her cutting the ribbon, ringing the bell that now hangs in the cafeteria. I also remember that one of my best friends gave her a bouquet of flowers.
How has it been for you to teach at ASH over the past years? How did you find yourself applying to work at ASH? \
This is my 15th year teaching at ASH! I remember when I first saw that there was an opening at ASH. I was teaching in the US and I thought Oh my gosh, I have to go to ASH! That's my school, that's the memory! And then I came here and it was really interesting to see the other side of the coin. Being a student then, seeing the “teachers lounge” and now like “Oh I'm part of the staff, I can go in there!”
I remember in my first year, it was the first staff meeting in the theater and I was in the cafeteria, and I had that new teacher feeling. Then I saw my former EAL teacher Arlette from afar. For my three years at ASH, she was the teacher helping me with my English and I had these vivid memories of her from that time. I went up to her and said “Arlette, hi! It's me Carla!” She was so happy to see me, like “Oh my gosh Carla!” She thought I was an alum coming back to visit and we chatted away. Then I started walking with her to the theater for the staff meeting. I remember her looking at me and saying, “Sorry, this is for staff only!”, to which I said “But I am staff!” And she was like “Oh my gosh, I had no idea!!!” It was so funny, we had a good laugh.
15 years later I'm still here. When I think back I realize that I've seen and been through so much transition in how we teach. I love being here at ASH.
How has your time working at ASH shaped your career and future?
I've changed as a teacher 100%. Here you have so many opportunities to grow. I'm not the teacher I was 10 years ago, 15 years ago, even 3 years ago! Teaching and the field of education has evolved so much since I started out, ASH helps us grow and provide opportunities for training and PD. Of course the students helped shape me into the teacher I am today too! Another big part of me being a better teacher is the team that I work with in elementary school. I've learned so much from the educational professionals around me while teaching in Kindergarten and Grade 1 over the years; I am really lucky to have amazing colleagues.
What are some of the stand out moments in your ASH experience?
As a student, a stand out moment for me is the athletics program. I loved being involved in sports! I “attempted” to play basketball, but I really played volleyball and track and field well. It was so much fun as my friends all played on teams and we would go away for NECIS tournaments. It was like an adventure, going away to play games with my friends. I loved it. I still have all of my athletic patches! My sister still has her ASH high school letterman jacket with her athletic patches, too.
All of the Project Trips were also awesome: Project Switzerland, Project Luxembourg, Project Friesland. They were so much fun! The teachers planned so many great and memorable activities for us students on those trips. I really remember them fondly, too.
As a staff, it's really hard to pull out just one moment as there are so many! I guess one is always at the end of year when we celebrate student achievements in the classroom. The kids get to reflect on where they were when they started out in August and how much they have grown and learned over the school year. I love that energy in the class with the kids; we pull out the “red carpet” and put red paper on the floor, making it a special event. We really take time to make it fun and special, to ensure the students can celebrate what they have achieved. We say goodbye and good luck, to the students and also sometimes to colleagues, but I know that next year another special group of students and staff will come along to make that year unforgettable, too.
We have a diverse community of students, staff, and families from around the world. Each member of our community brings their own story that enriches the #ASHexperience.