Continuing our commitment to feature outstanding educators from across western Massachusetts, here’s another bio from the Pioneer Valley Awards for Excellence in Teaching:
What was it like for you early in your teaching career?
“I recall being on pins and needles my first several years hoping I was doing right by my students. I found that finding friends in fellow teachers gave me an avenue to express my concerns and frustrations. Plus, they were a great sounding board for new ideas and lesson plans. Teachers are a generous lot ~ always willing to share ideas and materials.”
As a teacher, where do you find inspiration?
“The students inspire every day! I especially am inspired by those “Ah-ha” moments. Those times when a student goes from not understanding a concept TO understanding the concept because of what I just taught. This is kind of silly, but I look at teaching as screwing in light bulbs. Most people who interact with our students see them as light bulbs either turned on, where they already know the information, or turned off, where they have yet to learn the information. We, teachers, are the ones who actually twist and turn, teach and teach, the bulbs until they finally make the connection and turn on. The “Ah-ha” moment!”
What do you find helps to bring humor and fun into your classroom?
“If I bring humor, myself, into the classroom, then the students will follow suit. A conscious goal is to make my room safe and fun: A place where we can laugh and learn at the same time. I find that if a student has a positive emotion attached to a lesson or concept, they can more easily recall that lesson. Plus, my Lady Gaga glasses add to the fun.”
Congratulations Amy! Check back often to read more bios from the Pioneer Valley Awards for Excellence in Teaching.