Meet the Teacher: Amy Cummings

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name: Amy Cummings

School: Dowagiac Middle School

Amy Cummings

Grade(s)/subject(s) taught: Sixth and eighth grade earth science

Where did you attend college? Western Michigan University (bachelors) and Eastern Michigan University/Michigan Tech (masters)

How many years have you been teaching? How many yours havew you been with your current school? This is my 12th year teaching and 11th in Dowagiac. I spent three years at Dowagiac Union High School, and this is my eighth year at Dowagiac Middle School.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? My passion for earth science is what drove me to be a teacher. I love earth science, and I wanted to share my love with as many people as I could.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling and going to the beach.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? I originally went to college to study math, and it was my major for three years. When I discovered my love of earth science, I swapped my major and the rest is history.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I love Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Belle is an intelligent girl that doesn’t let the public’s opinion of her change who she is or give into peer pressure. I am very big on people being who they are.

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? When I was in middle school, I played volleyball and softball, and I liked to attend other sporting events at my school to watch my friends. I also liked to play computer games.

How would your coworkers describe your teaching style and personality? I am very energetic and passionate about what I teach.

Who is your biggest role model and why? My biggest role model is a college professor I had, Deb Coates. She was my first geology teacher and the reason I went into earth science. Her passion and love for geology, along with her awesome teaching style, is what I strive to be like. I want students to remember me the way I remember her.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue to grow academically? Read, read and read. Reading is the best way to expose students to more words and comprehension. In my class specifically, show your children the current earth events on the news — volcanoes erupting, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. That will give them a baseline of what happends in the real world, and then I will be teaching them why all of that stuff is happening.

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is… If my students learn one thing this year, I hope they appreciate how awesome the earth truly is. I want my students to watch the news or to be driving down the road and see something to remember back about some of the stuff we learned about that topic. They might not remember all of the little details, but I just want them to notice things in the real world and have the curiosity as to how it formed and to think about it logically.