Amy Ford speaks with a student

Mountain View's Amy Ford was named one of 29 finalists for the TSTA Educator of the Year Award. While she didn't win, she said it was an honor to be nominated by her principal.

Mountain View’s Amy Ford honored to be named finalist for Tennessee Science Teachers Association Educator of the Year Award

It’s the “A-ha” moments that make Mountain View second grade teacher Amy Ford get a kick out of being in the classroom. But Ford being the creator of those moments is why she was recognized as one of 29 finalists in four categories across the state for the Tennessee Science Teachers Association Educator of the Year Award.

While Ford didn’t win the award, she said that even being nominated was an honor.

“It was quite an honor, just to be nominated by my principal (Dr. Melissa Stukes) for it,” said Ford, who is in her fourth year of teaching second grade at Mountain View where she previously taught fifth grade. “Because it means that she thinks a lot of my teaching in science.”

Stukes said that she has known about Ford’s infatuation with science over the past few years, but it was never more evident than during the solar eclipse on August 21.

“I didn’t know who was more excited, the students or Mrs. Ford,” Stukes said through a smile. “Just watching her over the years, I know that she really likes science and STEM and tries to incorporate those activities in all of the lessons that she can. She really pushes her students and tries to get them to be as creative as they can and to think outside of the box.”

A gleeful smile came across Ford’s face at the mention of the solar eclipse, but she said it’s the experiences like that, with science, where she enjoys watching her student’s reactions.

“I don’t think there has ever been a kid that doesn’t like science,” an enthusiastic Ford said. “And what I love about watching students working on science is what they take from it and their reactions.”

Ford said that she tries to incorporate some sort of hands-on experience every time her class talks about science, so that kids can be amazed by the things they can accomplish. Ford, who served as a SciElites over the summer as she attended the annual program sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company, worked in business for almost 10 years before she returned to the classroom to become a teacher.

“I feel like each and every day, I have been meant to be here,” Ford said. “There is a reason that I come to this room every day. It may be a child that needs me or something that they need to be taught. Or it could be a social lesson or just an ‘I love you’ to a child. In each of those circumstances, yes education is forefront, but the other stuff behind the scenes is what I love about teaching.”