Stapp Inspires Educator Spotlight – Strength In Numbers

Today is our favorite day around here. Every month we have the opportunity to introduce you to another inspiring educator in St. Vrain Valley Schools. This is our third year of traveling around the district getting to know the people around us who are inspiring the next generation. If this is your first time visiting us, thanks for stopping by. We hope that you will continue to join us and the rest of our community as we highlight a different educator each month. 

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We are so excited to introduce you to Mead Middle School Math and Special Education Teacher, Amanda White. Amanda has been teaching at Mead Middle School since 2011 and taught at the high school level for four years before moving to Colorado. 

Amanda has a warm and welcoming personality and this is reflected in her classroom. She understands her students’ struggles when they enter into her classroom. Often these students have given in to “labels” that have been assigned to them at some point in time in their life.  Middle chool can be a challenging time in a student’s life. They are learning who they are, what they want to be. To be different or to stand out from everyone else can be discouraging. Amanda creates a safe place for these students.

Amanda is inspired by the relationships she is able to build with her students. By building a relationship built on trust, she is able to push her students to the point of frustration. But she doesn’t leave them at that point. She comes alongside her students, helping them walk through that point and peel back the layers. When her students make that breakthrough, that “lightbulb” moment, she sees their confidence grow. Not only are they able to learn content, they are given the opportunity to become leaders, to advocate for themselves. Amanda allows her students to teach their peers, because the best way to learn something is to be able to teach that content to someone else. 

Amanda wants to help her students flip how they see themselves. That they are able to thrive, advocate for themselves and be leaders in the school. She wants her students to celebrate their mistakes, ‘fail forward’, as she calls it.

She has walked in their shoes. She had two teachers one in middle school and one in high school, who encouraged her to change her thoughts about herself and what she was capable of doing. Amanda was shown how to play off her strengths and be successful. If Amanda can change one student’s path, her journey was worth it. 

We asked Amanda what she would tell her eighth graders on the last day before moving on to high school. “First and foremost, if you are present and trying you are 90 percent of the way there. Our relationship isn’t ending, it’s just changing.” 

Amanda, thank you for all that you do for your students. We are certain you have changed more than one student’s path! 

 

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