Amanda Hallman wasn't "supposed" to be a teacher. Near the top of her class in high school, a three sport athlete and class president - expectations from her community and family were that she would be successful in a math, science or engineering field. But at an early age her grandmother inspired a love of reading, education and creativity. They were lessons she says helped lift her out of poverty and make her a well-rounded teacher who considers the students she has influenced over the last nine years to be her greatest accomplishments in education.
Amanda attended the University of North Carolina-Wilmington – graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2006. Her concentration was in biology and she began her career in Wilmington as a Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies and Health teacher. Just four years into her career, she was named Teacher of the Year for her school. She mentored future teachers and conducted workshops about the realities of first-year teachers.
Three years ago, Amanda moved to Georgia and began work at West Chatham Elementary where she continues to mentor future teachers and new teachers through THRIVE – a new teacher induction program. She says there are two main student-centered themes that show her philosophy of teaching – enthusiasm and relationships. She will do anything – no matter how silly – to help students understand a concept. She works to form connections and really get to know her students – anything and everything about them that can help her build and maintain a relationship. She believes it's the responsibility of teachers to form that relationship and earn students' trust to give them the confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zone and learn and do what they did not think possible.