At the beginning of the school year, Temperance Tinker has each of her students write down an intention on a piece of origami paper.


“It takes us a long time to get 30 people to fold origami at the same time,” Tinker said. The origami is folded into cranes, which hang overhead in her classroom. They serve as visual reminders for the students’ and the goals they’ve set for themselves for the year.


“After doing this whole process then they have a constant reminder,” Tinker said “Like, ‘Oh my gosh, this year I plan do to my homework or this year I wanted to listen more.'”


Tinker has taught English at West High School for the past 8 years. After school, she coaches flag football and outside of school she stays active running and hiking in the mountains; her desk is surrounded by old Lost Lake race bibs and mementos from former students.


“The kids are crazy and super fun and engaging,” she said. “You actually get to read their work and see improvement. They take feedback and sometimes actually improve.”


Tinker says she’s worked a lot of different jobs that led her to the classroom.


“I taught ice skating, I taught aerobics in the morning for old people; I tutored and finally I thought, ‘Well I have this anthropology degree and this English degree, maybe I should be a teacher.'”


And she hasn’t looked back since.


“It’s the best job ever,” she said.