Last class of Klass

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With six languages and a plethora of curriculum under his belt, Daniel Klass is Ames’ High school’s very own “Renaissance man.” The multilingual humanity’s teacher is a regular attendee of the philosophy plus periods, and has taught at Ames for fourteen years, but the 2018 to 2019 term will be his last within Ames walls.

“I’ve been here for a while and I just feel like I might need to do something else,” said Klass, who is leaving not only Ames High but the state of Iowa. Klass and his family are moving to the capital of Columbia, Bogotá.

Klass, who’s taught everything from US government to psychology, along with French Arabic, isn’t completely sure if his teaching career will continue with the change of scenery. “I can’t give a clear answer because part of me still wants to but part of me is curious about maybe doing something else,” Klass said.

Kass taught for five years in Michigan before his appearance in Ames, accumulating into almost two decades in the teaching career. In Michigan Klass taught on French an ITV network for small schools who couldn’t afford a language teacher in every building, and the job could take him driving 200+ miles a day. It was “kind of a young person’s game,” Klass said.

I was so nervous… I mean you prepare and it works out but, the rhythms were different then what I was used to in Michigan for one thing … and the intensity was different – but in a good way.”

— Daniel Klass

Arriving in the Ames district in 2005, Klass remembers his first day. “I got so nervous,” Klass said, “I was so nervous… I mean you prepare and it works out but, the rhythms were different then what I was used to in Michigan for one thing … and the intensity was different – but in a good way.”

Something Klass has come to really enjoy at Ames High is the philosophy plus periods with fellow humanities teacher, Chad Zmolek. “It’s just different and we’re able to get very, for lack of a better term, meta about a lot of things,” Klass said, who started attending after asking Zmolek if he could bring some psychology students. Klass calls the students the best part of the school, and if he leaves teaching says that’d he miss being around young people everyday.

“Teaching is a consequential job. It does matter, it can be frustrating and blah blah blah, but it does matter,” said Klass, “I’ve been in jobs that just don’t matter and that can be really corrosive And if it was a job that was inconsequential then I would miss that. I want it to matter, because I’ve had jobs that don’t, and I can’t do that. I don’t do that well.”

I’ve been in jobs that just don’t matter and that can be really corrosive And if it was a job that was inconsequential then I would miss that. I want it to matter, because I’ve had jobs that don’t, and I can’t do that. I don’t do that well”

— Daniel Klass

While he’s leaving and will miss the students, Klass admits that the building is something else he’ll be sad to see go. “I know it’s not perfect but, I guess I would say if I was staying here, and the prospect of a new building would not excite me,” said Klass, “buildings have souls in a way, buildings have memories, buildings have narratives, buildings matter and places matter.”

While his personal narrative at Ames High is coming to an end, Ames High has been home for many memories for both Daniel Klass and his students.

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