By Ashleigh Garrison |
When I arrive promptly at 2:35 p.m. to Ms. Manoogian’s classroom to interview her, she is working diligently at her desk. She turns around and greets me with a warm smile accompanied by an upbeat “Hello.” She’s wearing a medium-wash denim jacket paired with a patterned maxi dress and wedged sandals— a nice combination of trendy and classic. I go in expecting our interview to be rushed; I know she has other obligations. After all, the only people more busy than IA students are IA teachers. To my surprise, I find that although it’s been a long day, she is upbeat and cheerful, emitting a warm, calm disposition at the same time.
Even if you have never had Ms. Manoogian as your Economics teacher, you probably know of her. She can often be seen walking through the halls of IA sporting the best outfit you’ve seen all day and wearing a smile. And while she has been teaching Economics at the IA for years now, it all started for her at the age of eighteen. That was when she took her first Economics course in college and realized that she wanted to be an Econ teacher. And she’s been working hard ever since. She’s both self-motivated and hardworking, two characteristics that fuel her love of entrepreneurship and push her to constantly challenge herself. Through my interview, I’ve concluded that there is a lot more to Ms. Manoogian than meets the eye. Besides being an Economics teacher, she’s also an aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others through counseling. She isn’t just an Economics teacher, but a real life superhero.
ASHLEIGH: Where were you raised?
MANOOGIAN: Livonia, Michigan. I have two younger siblings— a younger brother and a younger sister.
ASHLEIGH: Describe yourself in three words.
MANOOGIAN: Passionate, friendly, and . . . *she pauses for a moment to think* outgoing.
ASHLEIGH: When did you decide to become an Economics teacher?
MANOOGIAN: I knew for a long time that I wanted to be a teacher. When I was in high school, I was really inspired by some teachers and that put me on the path of teaching. I didn’t know that I wanted to teach Economics until I got to college and took my first Economics class. I fell in love with it. It’s kind of a complex subject to me, and I want to be able to help students understand that it can be complex, but it can also be applicable to the real world.
ASHLEIGH: What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher?
MANOOGIAN: Seeing the kids get excited about the same things I’m excited about. When the light goes off in the students’ heads. . .that is my favorite part. Seeing it click.
ASHLEIGH: So you went back for your Master’s in counseling—something that obviously requires a lot of time management, since you also work full-time here at IA. Do you have any advice to students struggling with time management?
MS. MANOOGIAN: Well, I still struggle to manage my time a bit. But I think something that is helpful is to do manageable chunks of things. I’m not going to take home all six folders of grading on the weekend, I’ll take home two. And I’ll do one folder on Saturday and one folder on Sunday, so then it’s a manageable amount and I’m not feeling overwhelmed. I find that if I just do manageable, small amounts, I end up getting things accomplished.
ASHLEIGH: I remember you telling me awhile ago that while you were in college, you had your own business.
MANOOGIAN: Yes, “Dog sitting by Emily”! That’s part of the reason why I want to try and do my own counseling business. I feel that I’m an entrepreneur at heart; I have the work ethic and the perseverance. And coupled with my economics knowledge, I feel like I could be successful at owning a business.
ASHLEIGH: What type of counselor are you becoming?
MANOOGIAN: Preventative counselor. I’m a big aspect of getting counseling even if you don’t feel like anything is wrong. It’s like going to the doctor, it’s a preventative measure. There is a very negative stigma about counseling. I’d like to be a part of eliminating that stigma.
ASHLEIGH: That’s great. To change the topic a bit, What’s the best the best life lesson you’ve learned?
MS. MANOOGIAN: Work hard, play hard. I’ve learned from my parents that hard work is very important. Hard work will actually set you apart from a lot of people. But I also learned that you have to have balance in your life. It’s important to take time to do the things you enjoy.
ASHLEIGH: Biggest pet peeve?
MS. MANOOGIAN: When people don’t work hard and complain.
ASHLEIGH: One IA problem you’d like to solve?
MANOOGIAN: I’d want to work to help the students better establish balance. I honestly think we have to take time to teach the kids how to be balanced.
ASHLEIGH: This question is a bit unrelated, but in my opinion, you’re one of the most fashionable people in the school. What are your favorite stores to shop at?
MANOOGIAN: Oh thank you! You’re so kind. Recently, I’ve been enjoying shopping at Dry Goods. It’s a store in Twelve Oaks Mall. I also love Target.
ASHLEIGH: Who are your fashion inspirations?
MS. MANOOGIAN: Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, my students..I look at what my students wear. I observe so I know “Oh, that kind of top is in” or whatever. I want to make sure I keep up!
ASHLEIGH: I think right now an athleisure movement is happening at our school. Lots of Adidas®.
MANOOGIAN: Oh, I love it! I’m all about the athleisure. I also love hats. If I could wear a baseball cap everyday, I would..But I’d wear it with a really cute athleisure outfit, ya know? *She laughs*
ASHLEIGH: Yes! Heels or gym shoes?
MANOOGIAN: Oh gosh, I love both of them. I mean, sometimes it’s a heels day, sometimes it’s a gym shoes day. And the best days are when you can wear both.
ASHLEIGH: What do you want to be doing ten years from now?
MANOOGIAN: Ten years from now, I hope to have a family—children of my own. I hope to be counseling at a school. Perhaps I’ll also have my own counseling business, a private practice.
Special thanks to Ms. Manoogian for being a great interviewee.