When Amanda Mire returns to her classroom this month to teach, it will look drastically different. There will be no backpacks to hang up, no pencils to sharpen and – most notably – no students in desks.
Mire, who has taught in the St. Charles Parish Public Schools District for nearly 20 years and was named the 2015 Outstanding Elementary Mathematics Teacher from Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics, currently works as a math interventionist at St. Rose Elementary.
“I got the call two weeks ago that I was pulled to do fifth grade math and science e-learning,” she said. “I’m the only full-time math interventionist at my school, so I was kind of prepared mentally. I’m up for any challenge, but the more it sunk in the more nervous I got.”
Since that call, the Hahnville resident has spent a considerable amount of time learning the technological side of what this school year will bring. She said she’s feeling more and more positive about the assignment.
“I’m going to have my normal classroom set up and be teaching from my computer, but with no one else in there,” she said. “I’ll also hold a virtual open house for parents.”
Besides not seeing her own students, Mire said she’ll miss another one of her favorite things about school – serving the kindergarten students breakfast.
“That’s one of my favorite parts of my day,” she said. “They start pouring their hearts out to me and it’s so much fun. I’m going to miss the hugs and I’m going to miss just seeing them and helping them. I have that mommy moment with them.”
Her initial nervousness about the challenges of teaching virtually were eased, she said, when she spoke to other teachers who taught virtual summer school and learned about their positive and inspiring experiences.
“As an interventionist, I am able to teach my students on their level,” she said. “They all come to me at different levels, and I have the time to work with them one on one to really build their number sense.”
Mire said she anticipates in her virtual instruction that she will be able to be just as individualized to each student.
“Kids adjust quickly,” she said. “I know this is God that placed me in this position because my e-learning partner teacher is one my dearest friends and we were partner teachers over 10 years ago. I feel like God knew that we could do this together.”