Name: Amber Van Den Berg
Grade/Subject at what school: Instructional Coach, Westfield Washington Schools
Number of years teaching: 10
Background/Schooling (college & high school):
Appleton East High School, Appleton, WI
B.S. Middle/Secondary Education, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
M.A. Adult Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Why did you become a teacher? After realizing in my freshman year of college that I did not want to become an accountant (way too much alone time in a cubicle!), I reflected on people who appeared to enjoy their jobs. I thought about the year prior, and my twelfth-grade English teacher, Ms. Strom. Her actions in the classroom showed me that it was possible to balance moving students on the trajectory of learning, but also have incredible rapport with each student. I realized by watching her that educating students and showing students you cared could work in tandem, and I thought there couldn’t be a better job than that and certainly not one that could match those invaluable blessings!
What do you encourage parents to do at home to help their children strengthen particular skills? There is nothing better than reading with your child. Whether it be through modeling of reading yourself, bedtime stories, reading road signs while in the car, or intentional focus on words, reading is at the center of every class. It is also imperative that parents see the value of talking about school every day with their child. Articulating the importance and value of school and making it a part of daily conversation aids in children being motivated and engaged at school.
Name your favorite movie. The Notebook
Name your favorite musician or band. Dave Matthews Band
What’s something your students might not know about you? I got my appendix taken out at age 8.