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Teacher Appreciation Month

DreamBox Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Month

Facing your fears and rising to the challenge

DreamBox is celebrating National Teacher Appreciation week all month long, and last week we asked educators to share their favorite stories about their favorite teachers. Your response was amazing, proving once again that what teachers do every day in the classroom can have a real ripple effect — not only in the moment, but decades later. So, today — and every Tuesday in May — we’ll be showcasing your stories here on the DreamBox blog.

We kick off our series with an appreciation from Amanda Barber, who teaches kindergarten and first grade in West Allis, Wisconsin. Her story resonated because we all remember that one tough teacher who truly challenged us.

If you think about it, easy A’s are easily forgotten. It’s the successes that you worked hardest to achieve that really tend to stay with you. Here’s Amanda’s story about the teacher who pushed her to be her very best.

The teacher who influenced me most

My fifth-grade teacher Mr. Hanser absolutely terrified me. There were rumors he made every student in his class cry and that he was HARD.

Even though I had always excelled as a student, I never really felt challenged until the fifth grade. I remember one time when Mr. Hanser assigned me to a leadership role in a classroom simulation game. A student on my team lost paperwork that we needed and I had to be firm with this friend. It was a real challenge, but I came out stronger.

Mr. Hanser’s simulation exercise really brought learning to life for me and allowed me to break out of my comfort zone to find my way as a leader. Up until then, I had always been more of a follower. As educators, we employ a variety of teaching strategies. I still think fondly of the standards Mr. Hanser held us to at a young age and, as a result, I have high expectations for my own students.

Amanda Barber, Kindergarten and First-Grade Teacher

The reason I teach

It wasn’t just Mr. Hanser who left an impression on me. I had such great teachers growing up — including Madame McKeown, my high-school French teacher — and so many more! I imagine they all played a role in my decision to pursue a career in education.

Today, I am a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at Walker Elementary in West Allis, Wisconsin. I co-teach in a school that promotes next-generation learning through the use of multi-age learning communities and personalization in all areas. I love following all the innovators on Pinterest, Twitter, and other professional learning communities to spark my imagination and stay ahead of teaching trends.

What I love most about teaching is seeing my students grow — their progress over the course of the school year always amazes me. I’m continually inspired by their innate eagerness to learn.

Attention DreamBox educators: There’s still time to share your story

If you want to participate in this challenge too, either log in to your DreamBox Insight Dashboard or email me your story before the May 12th deadline. A member of the DreamBox team will contact you if we choose to publish your appreciation. Thank you in advance for sharing!

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