Amanda works as a first grade teacher at a charter school in Brighton, MA.
What did you study at Simmons?
As a Dunn Scholar, I was able to earn my BA in social studies/elementary education and my MA in arts in teaching.
What's a typical day like at your job?
My day begins around 7:15 a.m. when I arrive in my classroom and begin to prepare for the arrival of the students. Once the students arrive they have time to eat breakfast and do some morning work. We have a morning meeting around 8 a.m. and then the students have academic periods and about two hours of music instruction, which is when I am able to lesson plan and have meetings. At 4:30 p.m. we begin dismissal and most students leave by 5 p.m. I then clean up the classroom and get ready for the next day!
What was the job application process like for you?
The school that I work at was the school where I did my undergraduate internship/pre-practicum and graduate practicum. I consider my year of student teaching my application process because I was constantly observed by the principal and other members in the school.
What's your favorite part of your job?
It's hard to say what one thing is my favorite. As cheesy as it sounds, I absolutely love my job. I suppose my favorite part is giving explicit reading instruction and watching the progress that is made over the year!
How did you know the organization was a good fit for you?
The first time I visited the school for my undergraduate internship interview I literally cried. I had never seen such a diverse group of little kids playing in an orchestra together. I told them that I hoped I got the job, because this is what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. It just felt right.
What was your favorite class you took at Simmons? Why?
The MCC course I took freshmen year because I became so much more aware of social injustices that I was naive to prior to the course. That awareness along with a tutoring experience led me to become a teacher.
If you could come back and take any class at Simmons what would it be?
The graduate math methods course with Ellen Davidson
. Designing my own math curriculum has been a challenge and that course would be so helpful now that I'm in the classroom.
How has it been transitioning into a young professional?
Amazing! I was ready to leave the college lifestyle. That being said, paying bills every month is not so fun!
How did Simmons help prepare you for your career?
Simmons gave me my career. I sat down with my academic advisor Helen Guttentag
in the fall of my senior year and she asked where I'd like to do my internships. I said I'd be happy anywhere, I would just like to be in first grade. Here I am almost two years later doing exactly what I want.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I would like to be a master first grade teacher in an urban public school. Being married with children would make it all complete for me.
What advice would you give to the current Simmons undergraduate students?
I would tell the future teachers to take your Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELS) NOW!! Listen to your professors, don't wait!