According my second grade teacher, when you have an e in your word, the letter 'one skip' behind it is pronounced hard. For example, the word name. In 'name', the fourth letter is e, the letter behind it is m, and the second letter is a. Because a is just past e, it is a hard a, pronounced aye.
I am following this rule, ergo, are should be pronounced aye-r, right? I've been stuck on this for a while now.