Crowell’s kindness, spontaneous deeds make a difference

By Sara Clark

GRC Smoke Signals/Multimedia Staff

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about; be kind always.” 

Social Studies teacher Amanda Crowell wants to know her students and their struggles.

“My motivation to come to school is the students and the relationships I build with them,” she says.

This COVID year hurt that some, but Crowell is now making up for lost time.

“I want my students to know I can be the person they come to when they are struggling on something in life,” said Crowell.

Crowell is known for her spontaneous rewards that she provides her students. She is constantly handing out suckers for student motivation and donuts for pop-up Psychology questions.

Crowell consistently sets an example to her students that it is always important to show and spread kindness. 

“We all have stuff we are going through and I think kindness can change things so much,” says Crowell. “Kindness is strength.”  

The battles and struggles have been felt by many more than usual during this school year due to adjusting to virtual learning and finding innovative resources for teaching.

 Teaching and learning have been different for staff as well as students this year.

Crowell wants to ensure that her students know to not hesitate to come and talk to her. “If something is going on, I hope they know they can come to talk to me about it and just know that I am here for them,” Crowell says. “I’m cheering them on; I want what is best for them.  If things are tough, I want to be there to help whenever I can.” 

Many people have the perception that teaching is a 9-5 job.

Time management presents one of the biggest challenges in teaching.

Teachers have many responsibilities that occur before the day starts with students and continues after the day ends. First-year teachers spend an extraordinary amount of hours constantly planning lessons or activities.

Many teachers, including Crowell, spend more than 40 hours a week learning new standards and looking for researched-based strategies to improve their instruction.

No matter what, Crowell is dedicated to and has her lessons prepared for her students no matter when or the time of day. She puts her heart and soul into every class, every student, every day. 

Crowell says that life has presented her with resilience and opportunities to never give up. Her family and past teachers have supported and encouraged her dream to teach.

“I decided to be a teacher when I was 6 years old,” she said. “I’ve always loved school and I have known as long as I can remember that I wanted to be a teacher.”

As a child, Crowell always thrived in school, which developed a love for reading. The influences she had even then have given her an open mindset to set and reach goals with her students today. 

“The motivation I received from my teachers throughout my early education career gave me the desire to teach to the best of my ability and make learning fun and even competitive at times,” she says.

Good teachers continuously uplift their students as they relate learning to life experiences. Crowell definitely fits this description. She thrives in giving her students praise and rewards as they excel in their learning. 

“Ms. Crowell’s compassion goes beyond her current students,” says senior Kendall Harrison. “Although I only had her freshman year she makes it a point to always speak to me in the hallway. She even let me stay on her Remind sophomore year even though I didn’t have her in class so I could participate in her trivia contests.”

Senior Shelby Summers agrees. “She cares about every student not only physically but emotionally,” she says. “She literally puts everything into her job. She is a perfect teacher because she makes sure you actually learn something but she also does everything in her power to make learning fun.”