Eastside High School language arts teacher Amber Mann knew she wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a little girl. During her senior year of high school, she decided to be an English teacher.
"I had an amazing advanced placement literature teacher," Mann said. "She inspired me to major in English so I could be able to make children fall in love with literature just like she did for me."
Mann went on to receive her bachelor's and master's degrees at Georgia College & State University. She is currently working on her doctorate at University of West Georgia.
She began her journey at Eastside in 2003 and has been there ever since. Although she started out teaching sophomores, she has stuck to teaching freshmen for the past seven years.
"I enjoy teaching ninth graders because they are at an age where they can enjoy my quirky teaching habits," Mann said. "I like to do more hands-on activities, and while the older kids would complain about it, they end up loving it."
Mann also said that the selection of literature for ninth graders suites her taste as well.
"All of the literature I teach my students is unique in its own way," she continued. "One of my favorite things to do is sit back and watch a student fall in love with whatever piece we are reading from that week. It never gets old to me."
She said that her favorite piece to teach is Homer's "The Odyssey." The epic poem is about a hero named Odysseus and his journey to return home after the Trojan War. It takes Odysseus 10 years to return home after the war is over. In that time, it is assumed at home that he is dead and his wife and son are forced to move on without him. He returns home at the moment when his wife is being forced to choose another husband.
"It is generally the piece that the students like best," Mann said. "We always have a debate at the end of the unit to decide whether or not Odysseus is a hero. It's always interesting to see what they say."
Other than teaching, she likes to travel and go to baseball games with her husband.
"We are huge baseball fans," Mann said. "You can always catch us at a Braves game."
She also said that her favorite thing about teaching was interacting with her students as they work on each unit.
"I love to watch light bulbs go off in their heads as they begin to understand the pieces of literature we read and understand the elements of literature behind them," Mann continued.
She said her least favorite thing about teaching is unmotivated students.
"It's hard for me to watch a student who is capable of doing amazing things, yet won't put their minds to do what I know they are capable of," Mann said. "I always try to help my students do their best regardless. I want to see all of them achieve great things in not only school, but in life as well."