Mr. Reichert is at the highschool

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Mr. Reichert is at the highschool

Lucas Bleyle, Print Manager

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Alive with energy Collin Reichert strides through his room calling on students and leading a discussion on the role of a school with his diverse group of plus period attendees. His presence fills the room not only by his large size, but also with his enthusiasm. Not two weeks in and Mr. Reichert has begun his tireless pursuit of improving education –  a journey he began at Ames Middle School where he taught physical science for many years, a course which his former students remember vividly.

“Despite him being like 20 feet taller than you, when he talks you feel like an equal. In his class, everyone is important and valued no matter their skill level,” said Liam Struck, sophomore at Ames High and former student of Mr. Reichert.  Some of this egalitarian attitude may have to with his childhood spent in Bolivia.

“I have experience growing up in third world countries so I think that, kind of, had an impact on who I became, some of my views, [and] what I stand for,” Reichert said. “I got to live in one of the poorest places in the western hemisphere.”

As a result he saw first hand the ways in which the rich take advantage of the poor which he described as more visible in Bolivia than in America. He believes that this early part of his life shaped him greatly and instilled an empathetic attitude for the disadvantaged.

I think [Bolivia] made me a more compassionate person, and allows me to more openly question things we do as Americans,” Reichert said. This lesson carried over into the classroom in the ways he treats his students with respect and encourages them to question everything. A poster on his wall reads; “Students will be metacognitive and exhibit a deep and robust understanding of the nature of learning.” He referred to this goal as the most important he will teach. It stresses that questioning everything is vitally important even if what is being questioned is the nature of learning itself – something he already has questioned in his plus periods.

His teaching style directly engages every student whether that be with a lively discussion or hands on activity. His plan for this year is to stress climate change as part of the Earth and Space curriculum. One way he is going to this is to assign students individual impact projects that will task students with creating solutions for limiting resources consumption a family or local level, in effect,  encouraging the students to question their everyday lives as Americans. His students will not only be learning, but also making a difference.

The Space part of his class description will, of course, be taught in the classroom, but also in the new Astronomy Club Mr. Reichert will be sponsoring. Reichert in his few weeks here has already found his foothold. From his adaption of the curriculum to his plus period discussions to Astronomy Club he appears to be a priceless new addition to Ames High.

“So far it has been amazing,” Reichert said. “I am happy to be here.” And Ames High is happy to have him.

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