Elementary Teacher Committed to Making a Difference in Urban Schools
“If you’re considering pursuing a career in an urban school, it will require hard work and it’s going to be challenging. But, it will change your life for the better.” —Amanda Haimes, M.Ed. ’13, Urban Accelerated Certificate Masters (UACM)
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Education: M.Ed. ’13, Urban Accelerated Certificate and Master’s (UACM), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
B.A. ’04, Sociology and Urban Development, Clark University, Worcester, MA
Job Title: Elementary Teacher, 3rd Grade
Employer: Atlanta Public Schools
An Elementary Teacher in Urban Schools in Amanda Haimes’ Words
Teaching was not a career I wanted to pursue
I was born and raised in Atlanta and attended several urban schools. Even though I struggled as a student, I had a great experience. After returning home from college, I spent a couple of years working as a barista, medical assistant and a nanny. Through my experience babysitting kids, I realized my passion lies in teaching elementary aged kids, so I researched programs that didn’t require a background in education and emphasized urban education in elementary schools. I felt a strong connection with UACM’s mission.
Support structures made my experience invaluable
The program is designed as a cohort, and I was fortunate to belong to a group of 22 people who essentially became my extended family. As a cohort, you spend a considerable amount of time together the entire two years — in class, studying, student teaching and commiserating with one another. Because of the rigorous nature of the program, balancing my time between classes and student teaching could not have been done without these kinds of support structures in place. My professors, mentor teachers, other mentors in the program and my cohort made the UACM experience invaluable.
Becoming a mentor teacher has been very rewarding
I’ve had the opportunity to become a mentor teacher during this year’s summer science camp. It’s been extremely rewarding working with UACM’s pre-service teachers to develop lesson plans, model good teaching practices and support and encourage them as they apply techniques they’ve learned in a real classroom setting. In addition, I work with in-service teachers who need more help with science instruction and inquiry.