Retirement: Steve Hosch


With the end of the school year approaching quickly, comes the retirement of many great teachers who have decided for one reason or another to close their doors at Ames High for the final time. And even though they won’t be teaching here anymore, the knowledge and help that they were able to provide to many young students is greatly appreciated. Among the teachers retiring this year is Mr. Steve Hosch, a special education teacher who was kind enough to answer some questions about his experiences at Ames High and what he plans to do moving forward.

Q: How long have you been teaching/working at Ames High?

A: This is my 30th year at Ames High.


Q: Did you work anywhere previously?

A: After college, I worked for about a year and a half as an assistant museum curator, and then I did about a semester of substitute teaching at various secondary schools (including AHS and AMS) in Central Iowa.


Q: What inspired you to become a teacher?

A: There wasn’t really any ‘inspiration’, per se. Honestly, I just sort of fell into it. When I was in my substitute-teaching phase, ACSD’s special ed director approached me. Turns out she needed someone to teach a special needs student in his home. He was a large young man, who for reasons I can’t go into, could no longer be taught in the classroom. I said yes (to this day, I think she only asked me because of my size; ie, my girth–take that, doctor who reminds me I need to drop some el bees–got me the job) but was only able to do the gig for a couple of months. Nonetheless, the special ed director (I guess) appreciated my efforts and encouraged me to apply for an upcoming special ed vacancy at the high school. The rest is history.


Q: What are some of your fondest memories of Ames High?

A: At this point, it’s tough to distill 30 years of teaching into a few fond memories. I suppose after I’m away from it for a while, precious, snapshots-in-time moments will (hopefully) visit me and warm my heart. All I can say is that I’ve worked with some amazing people, both colleagues and students–and, weirdly, some even still talk to me. I’ve loved the in-between-classes hallway banter with my classroom neighbors. I’ve loved seeing goofy, awkward freshmen transform into proud, ready-to-take-on-the-world seniors. I’ve loved co-teaching with a large part of the English Department (count yourselves lucky Seibert, Zeiss, and Grapp) and a lot of the Math Department. I’ve loved having past students pop in, years later, to say hi–even though, oftentimes, their names elude me. I’ve loved creating an easy-going classroom atmosphere, where laughter is encouraged. I’ve loved the hundreds of relationships I’ve built (isn’t that what teaching’s about?) over the years. I’m hopeful that in all my time in this profession I was able to make an impact on the lives of at least some people.


Q: What are your plans for retirement?

A: As far as plans for retirement go, I’m constantly scanning job sites for  ‘Sasquatch Field Researcher wanted’ –but for some reason those gigs just aren’t appearing on Seriously, though, I plan to get another job somewhere here in Ames or surrounding counties; teaching’s been fairly good to me, but now I’m gonna try something else for a few years. My wife is still working at ISU, so it’s not as though we can pick up and hit the open road. I’ll probably still keep myself entertained with my printmaking (or whatever art medium catches my attention), bike rides, reading sci-fi, hiking Story County trails, cooking, and all the other things I enjoy. Maybe I’ll get back into gardening or get some chickens.


Q: Is there any advice you’d like to pass on?

A: I’m not much for advice–probably because, to my own detriment, I’ve ignored most of the advice given to me over the years. However, since this country seems to be getting more rabid and selfish and authoritarian every year, I will say this: just please be kind. Oh, and don’t ever let that silly, smart@** kid inside you ever go away: play practical jokes on your friends and family, throw a snowball at the occasional window, laugh at fart jokes, and chase your preferred mythical creature.