ADM first grade teacher Amy Reis grew up in Greenfield and was inspired to become an educator by her college friends.
She decided to switch her major from accounting after hearing them talk about how interesting their education classes were and how much they got to work with kids.
After graduating from Northwest Missouri State University, Reis began her career at ADM as a special education teacher. She later taught Title 1 Reading then moved to the first grade, where she has been for the last 12 years. Her decision to become a first grade teacher came from a desire for the challenge of having her own classroom of students. She feels teachers today do a good job dealing with social and emotional issues with kids as well as academics.
When walking into Reis’ first grade classroom you can see the kids busy at work. A typical day for students includes mornings spent working in reading groups, at literacy centers and in writer’s workshops. Afternoons include math, social studies and science units. Reis says her personal gains from teaching are “seeing how the kids grow as readers and writers throughout the year. They soak everything up you tell them and want to please you by always doing their best work. It feels great to know I am part of that.”
Reis says today’s students are much more active learners than when she was a student herself. They talk with peers more, they work with more materials and spend more time in independent small groups.
Reis’ favorite part about her work is listening to the stories the kids tell.
“You get to hear some pretty interesting things from 6- and 7-year-olds,” she says.
She enjoys being at ADM because of the kids, families and great staff members of Adel Elementary.
Reis lives with her husband, Doug, and daughters Sarah, 11 and a fifth grader at DeSoto, and Ella, 7 and a second grader at Adel Elementary. Most of her free time is spent at her kids’ activities.