TEACHER TUESDAY: AMY POWELL
Amy Powell joined WC’s faculty in 2019. She currently teaches 7th- and 8th-grade math.
How would you describe your teaching style? “I try to be a facilitator as much as possible. After showing students a new concept in math, I give them room to attempt and practice the concept using their own problem-solving skills while making myself available to assist them. Students often want to know the exact right way of completing a problem before attempting to solve it on their own, in fear that they will be wrong. I am continually encouraging them that mistakes are OK! In fact, making mistakes and then correcting them is the best way we remember and learn.”
What is the most challenging aspect of your work? “When I get a new group of students each year, they are all over the map in their math ability. It is always a challenge to push my advanced students further while also meeting the needs of those who aren’t quite where they should be yet. Students also come in with the misconception that they’re either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at math — end of story. I try to give students a variety of ways to show what they know, reminding them that anyone can succeed in math if only they are willing to give the effort.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work? “When students have those ‘I get it now!’ moments–those will never, ever get old. I especially enjoy when students come to me during their study hall, lunch, or after school to work with me one-on-one because they are so determined to understand the concept. Seeing the look of surprise on their face when they realize they had the ability all along is so fun. I’m so thankful I get to be a part of that growth.”
How do you incorporate faith and learning? “In my class, I spend a lot of time talking to students about having a growth mindset. In my Pre-Algebra classes, I do what is called a Mindset Monday, which started off teaching them that anyone can grow their learning in math. However, it has shifted to me sharing what God says about our minds and our thoughts. Every Monday, we start class by reading and discussing verses that place an emphasis on the importance of our attitudes and the thoughts that take up space in our minds. I share practical ways that students can change their thinking to be more Christ-centered in hopes that they will take that Truth with them throughout the rest of their week.”