People in education: Amanda L. Ellis

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Name: Amanda L. Ellis

Job title: Eighth-grade science teacher

Number of years in profession: Three

How did you get into this profession? I didn't start thinking about being a teacher until three years after graduating from college, when I was applying to graduate school. Teaching just felt like the best place to use my background in science.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Getting kids and parents to realize the importance of doing homework and studying for tests and quizzes together at home. The importance of education needs to be reinforced at home as well as at school if students are to succeed.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Eighth-graders' sense of humor. There is never a dull moment; it is not like having a desk job.

What is a teaching tool or method that is unique to you? I'm not sure if it is unique to me completely, but I like to teach my kids study skills techniques and organizational skills through their daily science work. Kids need these skills to help them succeed in high school and college, where they will encounter a faster academic pace.

Briefly describe your most heartwarming teaching/student experience. I enjoy being outdoors with kids most of all. Whenever we can get outside to study science, everyone learns more and smiles more.

What are your favorite activities when you are not at school? I enjoy hiking, backpacking, skiing, hunting, camping, mountain biking and basically any other activity that brings me out into the mountains.

What is one thing about your profession that you wish the public at large understood? That it is a lot harder for students to succeed without the constant support and encouragement from parents. Teachers and schools are only a part of the equation in students' academic success. Parents' influence and kids' behavior are equally as important.

What do you like most about Craig Middle School? We have a great staff here. Everyone is very knowledgeable in their subject area and only wants what's best for kids. We all have a lot of laughs together, too, so that always helps make for a great work atmosphere.

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