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Success by Design: Julie Ramsey's 'real world' method

Amphi HS teacher is a former interior designer, who incorporates visual arts into her assignments.
Posted at 6:20 AM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 08:20:29-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Julie Ramsey didn't intend to get into teaching.

She was lured in.

“This is actually my first full-time teaching job. I was an interior designer for a long time before that,” she explains.

But hard times during the recession a decade ago altered her professional course. She began subbing to make ends meet.

“I always loved art and I always loved design and I always, you know, kind of an affinity for that, but once i started subbing,” she said, “Honestly, I can tolerate kids a lot more than I can tolerate adults.”

She found she really likes high school kids, describing them as funny and creative.

“They just make you laugh. There's never been a day where I've gone and not had a good laugh. And I just love teaching literature,” she said.

As an avid reader, she strives to cultivate a love of reading in her students by weaving in art.

She incorporates a lot of creative visual projects in her AP Psychology and Literature classes that require higher level thinking.

“We do a lot of posters that focus on a specific question. The analysis of literature can be very subjective, just like art. You can make all kinds of assumptions, but the end of the day, I just tell students if you can provide evidence and you can back up your assertions with evidence and explain that in a coherent manner,” she said.

Her assignments are all designed to prepare her students for college.

And now all of her accomplishments in just 8 years are being recognized.

She said, “It's very humbling. It's very, it makes you feel validated. You know, like, I'm doing well, like, I got it.”