UAIS teachers host AMES Days to support and teach students


John Dagg, Staff Reporter

2020 and 2021 have been difficult for everyone with the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. This has impacted everything from government to local businesses and caused a lot of change. The virus also impacted schools around the country and world.

One of the changes made as a response to the virus was moving school to be remote to protect students and staff alike. At UAIS there is arguably an already grueling schedule to follow with IAs, EEs, CAS, and more. Since this challenging school year is already in place, going remote could only make something difficult even more so. The staff decided to use something previously created called AMES days to provide some respite for students while continuing to teach them.

AMES is an acronym that stands for Academic Mentoring for Educational Success. The staff morphed this idea to occur every Wednesday in the morning and follow with time for students to meet with teachers and complete any classwork, EEs, or IAs in the afternoons.

AMES days are planned by teachers based on the IB subject areas. The content of the days themselves varied but were always relevant to either the subject area or an IB topic. Some examples of these topics include mindfulness, the history of UAIS, and internationality. Activities that would coincide with the topics are viewing TED talks, discussing ways to be mindful, talking to alumni about their experiences, and looking at the differences and similarities of other cultures. The plethora of topics and activities allow students to learn new things while taking a break from the rigorous course and extracurricular work.

Alumni explain the history and origins of UAIS (John Dagg)

AMES days have largely been received well by students, with students rating AMES days on average a 4.1 out of 5. Every student that rated AMES days a 4 or above wants AMES days to continue while only 85% of students that rated AMES days 3 or below want them to continue. These ratings are generally high with 98% of students wanting these days to continue into the future and students citing the days as fun and educational.

The history department’s version of the Amazing Race class vs class edition was students favorite activity so far. Closely behind was Shrek the Musical which was arranged by the arts department to display the way the various arts are used in the production of a play.

Some students suggested ideas for the future with popular results being a theme of balance and time management. Other ideas are more competitive with some suggesting iterations of The Amazing Race involving different groups for intergrade-level interaction. One interesting idea suggested is a trivia Kahoot tournament where students progress through the brackets of cohort, house, and finally school.

Unfortunately, Wednesdays, which have been virtual since the beginning of the school year, are being transitioned into in-person and there is a high possibility that we will no longer be able to have AMES days. However, students still believe these days provide an important respite with 74% believing one a week is the appropriate amount for a balanced schedule.

Ultimately AMES days have provided an important break for many while still teaching students important topics.