Amanda Parker grew up in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Jefferson High School. She began school at the University of Iowa with intentions to major in math, but ended up with the opportunity to observe and work with students during her sophomore year. Consequently, she chose to take on an education major as well as math, graduating in 2000. While there, she was a member of the Hawkeye marching band. She later received her Master of Arts in Education from Viterbo University in 2008.
Now you can find Parker at ADM where she is currently the kindergarten through fifth grade Gifted and Talented (GATE) teacher. Before being offered a position in the District in 2001, she was a substitute teacher in the Des Moines area for half a year. Previous to becoming the GATE teacher she was a third, fourth, and fifth grade teacher at ADM.
A regular day for Parker could begin at either Adel Elementary or Desoto Intermediate. Her ever-changing schedule is her favorite part about her work. When she starts at Adel Elementary she spends the morning working with small groups, first kindergarten, then first, and later second, in the area of mathematics and written language. Mornings at Desoto Intermediate include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) as well as critical thinking activities. Parker also conferences with students individually, focusing on reading and written language. Her afternoons are spent working on math enrichment with third, fourth, and fifth graders.
While Parker works hard to “ensure that every student is learning something new everyday,” she personally feels she is the one being taught by the amazing students, rather than the other way around. As a result, she can now “think outside of the box, ask deeper questions, show respect, try new things,” and more.
In her free time, Parker loves to read, saying she “gobbles up books and can’t keep enough checked out at a time,” and has a passion for performances at the Civic Center and other theaters. She plays on a volleyball team with a group of friends and loves spending time with her family. She and her husband Chad have two sons, Carson and Caleb, with whom they attend sporting events and play board games. The family is active members at the Lutheran Church of Hope, where Parker teaches Sunday school.
What’s something fun you’ve done with Mrs. Parker?