Teaching the whole child has been a focus for Amanda Adkins since she started to teach. She loves that this is part of Ivywood’s mission and that the humanities, sciences, and arts are all integrated into the curriculum. She loves her students at Ivywood and is excited to watch them grow throughout the year.
Who inspired you or why did you choose to become a teacher?
When I was in high school I took a vocational training class where we participated in creating lessons and interacting with a preschool class. It was so much fun that ever since I have always wanted to be with kids and teach!
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Overland Park, Kansas but have lived in the Plymouth-Canton area now for most of my life.
Who were some of the most influential teachers you had growing up? What made them so impactful?
My most influential teacher was my third-grade teacher Mrs. Bach. She always made learning fun whether it was in the form of having us put on a play or create a project.
What drew you to classical education? What about it makes you want to teach in a classical education setting?
I love the idea of classical education teaching the “whole child.” Integrating the arts is something I’ve always naturally wanted to do in my classroom and with classical education, it is already built into the curriculum. Making lessons both engaging and rigorous for students is always a goal in my mind. Using the classical education curriculum makes this extremely achievable.
What is your favorite classical book and why?
Being an early elementary teacher I have always loved the Fables of Aesop!
What is something that you do in your classroom to engage students?
I really try and encompass compassion and kindness in my classroom. I like to have an “affirmation station” where students can write affirmations about their classmates and put them in a bucket. At the end of the school day each day I like to read a few out loud to the class. This helps students to become “bucket fillers” by making their fellow peers feel good inside.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
My favorite part of teaching is getting students really engaged in lessons and watching those ‘light bulbs’ turn on. Experiencing students growing throughout the year academically, emotionally and socially is the most rewarding part of teaching.
How would a student best describe you?
A student would probably describe me as patient, kind, knowledgeable and fun.
What would your colleagues say about you?
My colleagues would describe me as a team player, leader and engaging teacher.
What was your journey to obtain your college degree? What school did you attend?
I attended Western Michigan University where I majored in Elementary Education with minors in Science, Mathematics and Integrated Creative Arts. I student taught with The Urban Program in downtown Kalamazoo in a third-grade class.
Where did you teach previously and for how long?
I taught second grade for one year and first grade for three years at Fortis Academy in Ypsilanti.
What do you do outside of the classroom? What are your hobbies?
When I am outside the classroom I am spending time with my big family! My husband and I live in downtown Plymouth with our six children. We enjoy spending time outside at local parks, swimming at our gym and teaching our kids about new and exciting things!