Secondary MAT ’18, Reading Intervention Endorsement ’21
Amanda Braswell receives genuine joy from working with students, celebrating their accomplishments, and designing lessons that build new skills as well as strengthen others that already exist.
Secondary Education ’18 and Reading Intervention Endorsement ’21, receives genuine joy from working with students, celebrating their accomplishments, and designing lessons that build new skills as well as strengthen others that already exist. She says it is those interactions and successes that keep her energized and motivated through some of the tougher times, such as the pandemic.Amanda Braswell,
“Although I feel that the teaching climate is particularly challenging at the moment, I do believe that my path in Education is solidified often, both when I am a teacher in my classroom, as well as when I am a student in Lewis & Clark’s classroom.”
Since graduating with her secondary MAT from Lewis & Clark in ’18, Braswell has known that she wanted to be a teacher who never stopped learning and who kept up-to-date with the best teaching practices.
“I know that this work never ends and that I will never “know enough.” In my post-graduate career, I plan to continue being a life-long learner, and always striving to do better!”
Braswell is a returning alumna to the graduate school, and keeps coming back due to the way the programs constantly integrate social justice and equity into the teaching techniques professors bring to their classes. She says she has found her graduate school education to be especially useful in her current role as a Language Arts teacher, supporting students who may struggle more with both reading and reading comprehension in her classroom.
I feel that everything the Lewis & Clark professors bring to class is presented through the lenses of social justice and equity. For example, when learning how to best support struggling readers, we also learn which groups of students have historically been left behind. We learn about which students are benefited as well as disadvantaged by specific practices. And we really focus on lifting up and supporting students who need it the most - because when we are serving them, we are serving everyone in the classroom.”
Braswell also notes that, in her own experience, it is impossible to “fall through the cracks” when you are a part of a small cohort like what students find at Lewis & Clark. She says her professors and classmates alike knew her strengths, points of improvement, and what she was ultimately working towards.
“I felt that the faculty acted as mentors to me, and I learned a lot from the material they brought in, as well as from their experiences. They are extremely friendly and eager to help. I felt that the faculty made it their job to truly help me succeed. As long as you’re willing to learn, they will not let you fail!”
Braswell found that creating routines in her work and life helped her prioritize what she needed to accomplish and contributed to a healthy school and work balance. At work, she implemented routines that provided structure for both her and her students. And at home, she implemented routines that allowed her to get done what she needed to, so she could truly enjoy her “downtime.”
“I’ve also been practicing to “do the best with what I have,” because I do not have unlimited time to plan and grade! I try to be purposeful in what I spend my time on- for example, not everything needs a grade.”
Her advice to prospective students is simple: Don’t hesitate to ask for help!
“You can count on your professors to work with you during your graduate journey. If you need more time–ask for it. Professors prioritize student learning, you don’t have to struggle alone.”