Teacher Interview: Mrs. Rutledge
What’s your name and what classes do you teach?
“I’m Amanda Rutledge; I teach Anatomy and Physiology and Biology.”
When did you come to Apex?
“I have lived here for almost twenty years, so I moved from Baltimore in [the fall of] 1999. At the time everything was, to me, [in the] middle of nowhere, and it still is [because I grew up in the city].
Why did you come to Apex?
“My mother-in-law and father-in-law had two properties in which they sold us to for dirt cheap, and so you couldn’t really pass up that option. It wasn’t free, we still bought it cheaper than what anything was when I grew up and where I lived because everything was old, everything here is still new.”
Why did you become a teacher?
“I took a class outside of graduating, and it was an animal embryology class. I was an adult, so I was twenty-one with a bunch of undergrad students, and [my teacher] asked me to be the teaching assistant because she thought I had good instructional skills in my lab groups… So I made a deal with her; if I can apply and get into the educational program here at Talston University in Maryland, and it was last minute, I said if I get in I’ll try it and go for it and see what happens.”
What other jobs did you have before teaching?
“I am a mother of six children, which keeps me insanely busy as well. I coach lacrosse here; I also volunteer and coach lacrosse outside of the school system. Before teaching I was an assistant preschool director, so I worked in a preschool for ten years, and then before that I had you know, your typical college/high school jobs working at a pool, a deli, babysitting, all that fun and embarrassing stuff.”
Why did you start coaching lacrosse?
“I played lacrosse in high school [growing up] in Baltimore. Every child here learns soccer; you know how there’s so many soccer things that you can take when you’re three or four? [Well] in the North lacrosse is taught in detail; it’s the big sport. I mean there’s soccer but it’s not as big as lacrosse, there’s so many lacrosse private and public organizations, it’s encouraged and supported. It’s just a different way of life. So when I got here, coach Bags was coaching football, and I mentioned to him, “Oh, I heard you’re the lacrosse coach, I played lacrosse in high school” and his eyes got all big and [he asked] “do you have time to help me?!” And I was like, “oh well I’ll think about it”. I thought he was teasing me, and he was actually being honest about it. First year I was an assistant for Varsity and last year I was the head Junior Varsity coach and we went 7-0.
Why did you choose your subject area?
“I was a biology major, so I love science and I love learning about the human body. I took anatomy and physiology in college, and I used to want to be a doctor, before having a rather large family changed all that completely from one to the other.
If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
Skylar: “Like a physical exam doctor?”
Rutledge: “Yeah, [but] before I wanted to be an OBGYN, I wanted to deliver babies. When I graduated high school, I went to college wanting to get a biology degree, and then eventually, go to medical school but that all changed when you look at how much time that takes from you in order to do it. You have to really be willing to devote [your life] to that. So it’s either that or a family; [well] you can have a smaller family, but I’ve always wanted a big family, so one outweighed the other.
What’s your favorite TV Show? Book?
“[Laughs] Books? Not right now there’s really no time to read. I like a lot of those competition shows, whether it’s singing, dancing, anything creative or crafty. I love all the medical shows, I mean that’s always fun.”
Skylar: “Like the comedy shows or the actual, like “today we’re going to be doing open heart surgery” shows, or are you talking Scrubs kinda stuff?”
Rutledge: “Just the fun ones but sometimes I’ll go and watch things online, just for my own dorky purposes.”
What are your hobbies?
“I like to exercise, I like to run, I like to be outside, I cheer for my children, three of them travel and play boys lacrosse as well, so that’s really minimal free time.
I have five boys and a girl. The oldest is nineteen and the next one is almost seventeen, then the next is fifteen, twelve, close to ten, and [my daughter is] almost seven.
What are your pet peeves?
“Cell Phone usage is always an annoyance of mine when we’re trying to go over something and people are more on their phones than talking about a particular topic. My only pet peeves, really I think, is sleeping. I know it’s hard to be a teenager and to get up early, be here all day and focus for an hour and a half, I get that, just try to take things in chunks of time and get through it the best you can.
Are you more of a morning person or a night person?
“I’ve become more of a morning person; by like nine o’clock at night, I am literally ready to just fall asleep on the floor. I guess I’ve always just been able to just do more morning. There’s still that craving to stay up later. and I pay for it the next day when I’m trying to stay awake.
What advice would you give students that want to take your classes?
“I am here to help you the best I can, if you’re confused, lost, overwhelmed, please feel free to come and talk to me. I would recommend taking fifteen minutes out of your day just going over what we talked about, looking over the terms, because anatomy and physiology is all about terminology, as you would know.
Skylar, who is currently taking anatomy: *Groans*
Who is or has been an inspiration to you?
“A lot of my teachers in high school were really amazing teachers and really pulled the best out of us. They were fun and engaging, they made it enjoyable and got to know us as students, and so I think that as a teacher, you know I can stand up here and be like “blah blah” but for me to get to know you all is also part of my responsibility as a teacher, to get to know who you are, what you like, what you thrive in, what you enjoy, and to facilitate that as well.
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
“I guess I’ve always had that kind of work ethic that no matter whatever [I do], I’m gonna do it to the best that I can do, and so that starts off by getting up in the morning and saying, “today my responsibility is thus, I have to go and do it, and I have to be present” and I have to give myself over to that so I can get it accomplished. Whether it was when I was a teenager and I used to have the 6 AM shift at the deli, where all the people would come in and want breakfast sandwiches. You had to be ready and present and willing to do [the] menial task that it is, but you have to do it well. So I think that’s what drives me, just the wanting to accomplish whatever it is and do it well. Plus I have six kids.