Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Amanda H. - Belleville Campus
Here at LWP we like to ensure our teachers know just how much they are appreciated on a daily basis. Day after day they work in their classrooms as well as together as colleagues to ensure they are educating your children, helping them obtain the skills they need to succeed in the future, and most importantly, have fun while they are at our school! However, after some discussions with current families, we have noticed that our families/customers may not get enough of a look into the daily lives of our teachers, and how they are always working to better themselves, their classrooms, and most importantly, making sure that LWP continues to be a place where your children can come to grow and learn on a daily basis. With that being said, we wanted to take a step back, and take some time to highlight each of our teachers once a month, so you as the families we serve can see a little bit further into what makes all of us tick on a daily basis, as well as some fun facts you may have not known about your child’s teacher!
To start, we sat down with Ms. Amanda (Higgins), our lead teacher in the Birch classroom! Ms. Amanda has been at LWP since November of 2021, and in her time with us she has shown us that she is incredibly organized, loves to do art projects, and works tirelessly to create deep and meaningful relationships with all the children that come into her classroom! Ms. Amanda is always looking for ways she can incorporate meaningful lesson plans into what her students are interested in that week. While our reggio inspired curriculum is considered a non-conforming version of learning, we still put an emphasis on readying children for Kindergarten and schooling beyond their time with us. Ms. Amanda excels in this by always trying to tie back her lesson planning to age appropriate goals and milestones that children should be working towards like matching, recognition of shapes, letters, and numbers, and much, much more! In sitting down with Ms. Amanda, we took some time to ask some serious, and not so serious questions about herself, her teaching style, and her personal life that we hope you have a fun time reading and learning about below!
Ms. Amanda has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from UW-Madison in Biology. She graduated in 2017 and has been working in Early Childhood Education ever since! She is originally from Green Bay, WI (GO PACK GO!), but currently lives in neighboring Oregon, WI, with her husband Andrew, and their son Peter (who also attends LWP!). When Ms. Amanda was asked what her favorite part about LWP is, as well as something that makes her day at work great, she responded saying, “I really love when children remember something meaningful that you taught them, like letters, numbers, etc, especially at such a young age in the Birch classroom (1-2 yrs old). My favorite part about LWP is the flexibility to focus on what children are interested in each week, and being able to command the classroom by guiding the children in activities that allow them to reach goals set forth by the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards that LWP uses”. In congruence with this, Ms. Amanda was then asked what her favorite activity to teach in the classroom is. She replied, “Any art project that is messy. I love to watch the imaginations of the children come alive while they are allowed to create without parameters always being set for them”.
A hallmark of our curriculum and focus at LWP is that the world around your children also acts as a teacher in their daily learning, and being able to use their imaginations to help interpret the world around them is a great skill to foster among young minds. We applaud Ms. Amanda for making art such a focus in her classroom, as art is a great way to stimulate young minds on a daily basis. It is paramount to us at LWP that the children are able to continually find ways to express themselves in the classroom and beyond. Ms. Amanda has done a wonderful job at ensuring the children in her classroom are able to utilize the classroom and world around them to grow by spending lots of time outside getting active (weather permitting), completing daily art projects, fine motor activities, large motor activities, sensory activities, reading books, and much more. We speak for everyone when we say, great job, and keep up the fantastic work!
Moving on to some fun questions, Ms. Amanda was asked what some of her favorite things to do when she isn’t at LWP! She stated that she loves to spend time gardening at home, camping all around Wisconsin with her family, and simply just being outside and enjoying the awesome weather we get to experience in Wisconsin! When asked to tell us a little bit about her family, Ms. Amanda explained she is married to her husband Andrew. Andrew manages a brain imaging lab at UW-Madison that aids in research studies at the University! Andrew is originally from Verona right up the road! Ms. Amanda and Andrew share a son together, Peter. Peter is 17 months old, also attends LWP, and is described as always being on the move, a BIG foodie, and absolutely loves playing in the sand. They have two cats named Smokey and Fireball!
Moving forward, Ms. Amanda was asked who or what inspires her. Ms. Amanda replied, “My mom and grandma inspire me the most. Their love for their family and their willingness to put everything into what they are doing on a daily basis pushes me to do the same with my family and my daily life”. Here at LWP, family is a big word for us. We know our teachers truly feel like their own version of a family, so it is wholesome to hear where some of these morals come from, from outside of the center and how they impact the caring and loving manner in which the children are allowed to learn within on a daily basis. When asked a little bit more about her family, Ms. Amanda stated that her and Andrew’s family are both very Irish. This played well into our next question of where she would travel, anywhere in the world, if money and time weren’t a part of the consideration. Ms. Amanda stated she would without a doubt visit Ireland, as she wanted to go there for her honeymoon but was unable to because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. She explained that her and her husband are both very interested in learning more about, as well as experiencing their families heritage and culture by immersing themselves through their possible visit. All we have to say here at LWP is that we would love to be able to hear about this trip and all of their adventures should they ever be able to experience it as a family! We know they would have a blast!
Color - Yellow
Movie or TV Show - Harry Potter Series
Book - Harry Potter Series
Food - Watermelon (Yum!)
Season - Winter
To culminate everything in this teacher spotlight, we wanted to exclaim that we can’t say it enough that our teachers at LWP are incredibly dedicated, and that we appreciate them in every way we can! We hope this spotlight has given you some more insight into who Ms. Amanda is, and why/how she is so good at her job! We look forward to continuing to highlight all of our teachers each and every month, and let you all know of the amazing happenings both inside and outside of our center.
At Little Woodland Preschool we strive to give the best possible care to children of every age. Our dedicated staff aid each child in developing appropriately while still exploring the world around them through the lens of a child.