“Watching them persevere through difficult content is part of what keeps me going.”

It was Amanda’s love of working with children that led her down the path of education, but it was her love of reading—and her desire to pass that love on to future generations—that motivated her to teach English language arts (ELA) at the elementary level. While the texts themselves are a joy to share, the real delight for Amanda comes from hearing students’ reactions to the stories. With new students every year bringing different life experiences and viewpoints, a unique and lively discussion is always in store. Every year, the most rewarding experience for Amanda is watching her students develop and mature into individuals who are ready for the next step; when the students give their best effort and overcome challenges to achieve their goals, they inspire her as much as she inspires them.

What do you enjoy about the grade/subjects you teach?
I teach 5th grade ELA. I love to read and want to pass along that love to my students. Also, I love hearing students’ thoughts about the texts that we read. They often have very unique thoughts and perspectives about a topic or situation. I enjoy seeing life through their perspectives. Each year we have new students with different experiences and viewpoints. I love seeing them bring all of their experiences into what we are learning academically.

What keeps you going on your more challenging days in the classroom?
Watching students show up each day and give their all in challenging content is one of the things that motivates me. I want to give students all they need to be successful in life. I have a limited amount of time with my students each year. I want to make that time count and help them as much as I possibly can. Each year there are students who work hard day in and day out. Watching them persevere through difficult content is part of what keeps me going. The students show up and give it their all, which motivates me to keep going. I love seeing students show grit and determination. Nothing makes me more proud or inspires me more than seeing a student not give up!

Why should one consider becoming a teacher?
Being a teacher is extremely rewarding. I get to watch my students develop and mature into independent individuals with their own interests, strengths, and beliefs. I enjoy helping them learn and develop the tools they need to succeed in life. I love seeing their personalities and watching them interact with their peers. I have learned a great deal from my students. They are an inspiration to me as I watch them grow and overcome adversities.

Complete this sentence: Teachers are heroes because…
Teachers are heroes because they love, care, and work tirelessly to show up for their students on a daily basis regardless of the many challenges.

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