There’s never just one way to teach a child.
Amanda Reimers is a first-year teacher who is discovering that today’s technology can blend successfully with more traditional, hands-on education to help develop the whole child.
A Durant native, Reimers graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in early childhood education last December. On an early autumn day in Boone, she could be found outside with her class as the kids work off a little pent-up energy. As 4-year-old preschoolers, just learning the routine of school can be a big adjustment.
“It’s a fun age because they are just so excited about everything,” she says.
Reimers gained student teaching experience with kindergartners in Ames and preschoolers in Ankeny and is settling in to her role teaching preschool at Lincoln Elementary School in Boone.
In the classroom, Reimers likes to prepare kids for what’s ahead with technology, while still using all their senses with genuine, hands-on learning.
“Technology can be a good thing and a bad thing,” she says. “A lot of times it’s used just to entertain. It’s really hard for them to learn that way because they’re not using all their skills.”
She enjoys using iPads in the classroom to help children practice their writing skills, but says other forms of learning are still valuable. For one, kids at this age simply need to learn how to work together.
“Just to be able to interact with each other is so important,” she says. “Some of the kids come in not knowing any other child or how to interact with another person.”
In getting the preschoolers ready for kindergarten and beyond, Reimers wants her students to learn how a school works and how to work successfully with others.
“How to become a friend, what a friend looks like, or what it’s like to share, or to respect other people is all so important,” she adds.
Reimers credits a few of the teachers she had in Durant, as well as her mother, a former teacher’s associate, for inspiring her to become a teacher. Now settling in at Lincoln, she finds it a great place to begin her own career.
“I love teaching at Lincoln; the staff here is wonderful,” she says with a smile.