My name is Amber. I am 25 years old. I have a chubby little, honey-colored, Cairn terrier named Buddy who rules the household, and he, unfortunately, knows he is in charge. With the exception of college, I have lived in Athens, AL all my life. I love my hometown. It is beautiful and has historic, small-town charm but has the convenience of Huntsville just next door. Our area happens to be a hub for all kinds of interesting careers. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood of rocket scientists, ministers, army officers, nuclear physicists, businessmen, doctors, and more. I graduated from Athens High School in 2004 and went to Troy University, Troy, on scholarship. I interned at Harrand Creek Elementary School in Enterprise, AL and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education in 2007. I plan to finish my Masters in Elementary Education sometime in the spring of next year.
I have taught 4th grade at Creekside Elementary in Harvest, Alabama for two years. I taught three leaves of absence at the same school the year before I started teaching full time. Unfortunately, since I am not tenured, I am currently the victim of the economy. All first-year and many second-year teachers in our school system received pink-slips last week. There is a possibility that I will be hired back within the next few weeks, but nothing is certain. I really love teaching 4th grade, and I love the people with whom I work. I miss them, and I am praying about what God would want me to do next year. I know that as a human, I have no idea what will make me happy. God does know, though, so I am trusting Him.
I became a teacher because I have the gift of teaching and because I wanted to teach in the way that my favorite teachers taught me. As a teacher, I like to have fun as often as I can! I like to teach using manipulatives, primary sources, games, technology, cooking activities, experiments, read-alouds, and picture books whenever I can. I get bored when teaching from textbooks from time to time, so I know my students are bored when textbooks are overused. My favorite piece of technology has to be my AirLiner for my SMARTboard. I can teach anywhere in my classroom with it (I usually sit on my small group table so all of the kids can see me and so I can be close to all of my materials.), and I can see all of my students at the same time. I do not have to teach with my back turned! Meaningful games saved me this past year. The value of meaningful, cheap, easy games is almost priceless. Game work gives students that oh-so-very-needed brain-and-body break and real reasons to learn material – especially in math. What 4th grader really wants to understand fractions? When my 4th graders needed to understand fractions in order to win one of our daily games, they wanted to understand!