Meet your teacher, Amanda O’Neil


COM-Meet Your Teacher O'Neil

Grade/Subject at what school: Kindergarten, Monon Trail Elementary

Number of years teaching: Five

Background/Schooling (college & high school): Lakota Freshman School, West Chester, Ohio; College Du Leman International High School, Geneva, Switzerland; Karns High School, Knoxville, Tenn.; and bachelor’s in elementary education, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tenn.

Why did you become a teacher? I come from a long line of educators and knew from an early age that I wanted to be a lifelong learner myself and instill that same passion in others. Elementary education was a perfect fit for me because I enjoy spending time with kids and creating real world learning experiences for them.

What goals do you have for your students? Children are naturally curious, therefore I want to promote and enrich that curiosity through a hands-on, explorative approach to learning and problem-solving. I will differentiate learning so that all students are successful. I want my students to feel empowered and intrinsically motivated to learn. I want my students to be responsible and productive learners and participants in their school and community. I want to work as a unified team with parent/caregiver/teacher/school so that every student continually progresses. I want every student I teach to feel safe and to enter and leave my classroom each day knowing how much I cared for them.

What do you encourage parents to do at home to help their children strengthen particular skills? Reading every night to your child is essential to building other skills in all academic areas. Just as students need to be properly fed and cared for, reading to them nourishes their brain as well and makes school so much more fun. Reading together is one of the most valuable bonding times between parent and child. In addition to reading daily, take time to go over papers that come home from school. Use those current skills and find opportunities to enrich and build upon them.

What is your favorite movie? Remember the Titans

Who is your favorite musician or band? Zac Brown Band

What’s something your students might not know about you? I was fortunate to get to live in Europe and spend part of my high school years in Geneva, Switzerland. I have traveled extensively in Europe and have a broad perspective of how kids all over the globe are more alike than they are different.