Inspired by SPSCC: Amanda Howard
Elementary Education Student, Saint Martin’s University
“That’s what is important to me about teaching is people who need a parent, friend, well … being a teacher means to fit into the mold that each child needs the most.”
Amanda Howard, SPSCC (2016) Associate of Arts
Amanda Howard bounced back from life’s challenges during her freshman year of college and found out that her passion for education was in her reach all along.
Amanda graduated with an Associates in Arts from SPSCC during winter of 2016. She then transferred to Saint Martin’s University to get a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Currently, she is completing her last semester as a junior this fall.
Amanda first started her college career at Central Washington University. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw due to her battle with an eating disorder that began after she graduated from high school. She came back home from Central and began outpatient treatment while attending SPSCC. Since then, Amanda has recovered and has been in remission for over three years.
SPSCC English Professor Nancy Miller is a remarkable and memorable influence for Amanda during the time she spent at community college. “I learned a lot about myself. Nancy had me dig deeper into writing my own story.” Which has been beneficial since Amanda’s major is quite writing intensive. Amanda rediscovered her path that she kept coming back to time and time again–her interest in education.
While Amanda was student teaching for her class at SMU, she got the opportunity to go back to the same elementary schools she attended as a child to do observations. She always had good experiences with her teachers. When she was having a difficult time with her personal life, she was able to look to her teachers for support.
“My elementary teachers paved a path for me,” said Amanda, “I want to be that person for other students.”
During her time in observation hours she witnessed a child acting out in class that had to stay back in the classroom while the rest of the class went to play. He expressed to Amanda stories about his home life and she was able to be there for him as emotional support. The next day, Amanda was back at the elementary school and the child had a stuffed animal that he named after her.
Amanda remembers struggling scholastically in most subjects like math or reading when she was a young child. She thanks her elementary school teachers for her passion for education and now considers herself as an academic. In addition, all the teachers that have inspired Amanda a great deal are SMU alumni. They even have the same teaching credentials as the ones Amanda will be receiving after graduation.
In order to be an empathetic role model for other students to continue on in the face of adversity, Amanda wants to bring life experiences from her childhood and the time she preserved through an eating disorder with her when she becomes an educator.
“Going to SPSCC really prepared me to move onto a university. They prepare you for all the situations you may come across while being a transfer student at a university.”