Asbury Educator of the Month: Amanda Marshall

When Arlington Elementary Principal Kim Lippert needs a staff volunteer to launch a new project, she knows whose hand will shoot up first…she knows kindergarten teacher Amanda Marshall is ready to help. In her sixth year at Arlington, Marshall — who sits on the SBDM council — was the leader of the school’s Born Learning early literacy program. In partnership with Toyota, Arlington worked with area families to promote literacy in
children up to 3 years old. Over the course of six evening sessions, Marshall directed presentations for each meeting. When Arlington adopted Project Based Learning, Marshall again was at the forefront. To address needs of its non-native English speaking students, Arlington is adopting the SIOP model. The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol has proved effective in addressing the academic needs of English learners. (Arlington’s largest ethnic group is Latino). Over the summer, Marshall attended a professional development seminar in Denver and is spearheading the SIOP approach at Arlington. “We found that it is good for all of our students,” Marshall said. “In my class this year, we’ve seen the most improvement in English and math, and we’re getting through material quicker.” That’s no surprise to Lippert. The data shows year after year that Marshall’s students succeed. What’s her secret? Good relationships. “To get students to succeed, they need to feel that you care about them,” Marshall said. Her student teacher, Lauren Tusek, can vouch for that. “The first thing I noticed is how she builds long-lasting relationships with the kids,” Tusek said. “Older students are
constantly coming back to see her.” Marshall has always known she wanted to teach. As a child, she set up a play classroom and roped her younger sister and neighborhood kids into serving as students. When her father brought home large whiteboards from work, young Amanda was ecstatic. Now a professional teacher, Marshall is a student of education. “She seeks out new instructional strategies and is very creative,” Lippert said. “She’s involved with kids outside the classroom, attending basketball and soccer games, and tutoring kids after school. She has great relationships with her kids and their families.”