Nominated by parent, Teresa Melville:

Mrs. Adams has made a world of a difference in my daughter and her education. She is always available for assistance/ guidance not only for my daughter, but for me as the parent (including outside of school until 9pm. She has gone out of her way on multiple occasions to go above and beyond for all of her students. She shows true passion as an educator for her student’s futures. She always has a smile on her face and a laugh in her personality. My daughter has transformed from a child who hated school to a child who not only loves it, but is proud of her efforts. My daughter has even told me if she could make Mrs. Adams her teacher forever, she would love it. Mrs. Adams is a true example of what it takes to be an effective educator. She plays a key role in assuring that my daughter has a bright and successful future.  Now that my daughter has faith in herself, she is capable of accelerating in whatever she chooses to do. I am so grateful for Mrs. Adams and difference she makes every day.

Congratulations Melanie, from all of us at K103!

What inspired you to become an educator?
It seems I've always known I was going to be a teacher. My mother was head secretary at my elementary school and I started working in the kindergarten classroom when i was in fifth and sixth grade. I was surrounded by the very best of teachers and some of the worst. The best inspired me to want to help children discover their potential and the worst inspired me to provide a better education than I had received at their hands. 

What do you like most about teaching?
I love that each new day presents new opportunities. Opportunities to learn something new, to work with some of the most amazing young adults, and to help students find their passion in life. 

What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
The expectations for students have radically changed. Where once we expected students to learn to read and write and possibly go on to college, now the expectation is that every child will not only learn to read and write, but to speak intelligently, reason scientifically, grasp Algebra and beyond, and question the world around them. Now, college has become almost a given. 

Share a favorite story about your years in education.
I think my favorite stories are the ones that we write together in the classroom. For several years I taught seventh grade at Cascade Heights. One of the Core Knowledge units for 7th grade is America in the 20's. Over the course of 8 weeks we learned about Prohibition, the Mafia, the Suffrage Movement, Flappers, and the Jazz Age. Our final involved putting together our own speakeasy. In science we brewed root beer and bottled it and in PE they learned the Charleston. Students worked in small groups to produce their own silent films that demonstrated their understanding of prohibition and jazz. Using costumes from the local theater, we put on a show for the parents. The students baked finger foods to serve, set up the room, and gave their parents the password to get in. This was their chance to show off their dance skills, show their movies, and enjoy their successes. Last year, as the day was winding down, one of my students came to give me a big hug and whispered in my ear, "When we started this unit, I thought history was dumb and worthless and you'd NEVER get me to dance with a girl. Now, I kind of love history and know that I am mature enough to move beyond being uncomfortable and do something pretty great. Thank you for challenging me to be a better person."