Students at a German table

Amanda Greene

Class of 2016

Amanda GreeneI graduated from Wofford in May 2016, and every time I reflect on my years as a college student,  I realize that choosing to attend Wofford was one of the best decisions I made in my young adult life.

I am currently a middle school Spanish teacher at Florence Chapel Middle School in Duncan, South Carolina. I teach seventh and eighth graders, and, notwithstanding its many challenges, I am enjoying it thus far. The students are kind and appreciative, and they have demonstrated an ability to absorb information like sponges. This is gratifying.

Many people tell me that they could never do my job, and they have expressed their preferences to do anything other than teaching at a middle school. But, at this stage, I think it is the right fit for me. For some, middle school proved difficult, and this could be attributed to a number of factors that include not being able to make the requisite adjustment from elementary school to an environment where, suddenly, a student had to assume responsibilities that seemed so towering. As for me, middle school was one of my favorite journeys to a higher education. It was at this stage that I began to give thought to the possibility of becoming a teacher in a middle school. Now, I can’t say that I remember all the things I learned in middle school. However, learning was enjoyable, and I definitely enjoyed my time.

My first goal as a teacher is to make meaningful connections with my students. My second is to get them excited about what they are learning. I also want my students to connect what they are learning to their other classes and to their own lives. Whenever I hear one of my students say that they finally understand a concept, because they were able to connect it to something else, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. It makes teaching rewarding. At the beginning of the year, I was teaching numbers 1-30 in Spanish. When we got to the number 15 (quince), one of my students said, “That’s like quinceañera!” I was over the moon, so to speak, because the student was able to connect what he was learning to something else. Learning is about connecting all the little things into one enlightening experience. This is what makes learning so worthwhile and beneficial.

Majoring in Spanish at Wofford really helped to prepare me for my current job as a Spanish teacher. I find myself able to share my study abroad stories or point out grammar mistakes that I used to make. I readily warn my students not to make the same mistakes.

Currently, my students are researching the country of Argentina, and it’s amazing how all of my experiences in Argentina have come flooding back. This particular assignment is most fascinating in that it provides the opportunity for me to talk about my travels. In doing so, my students have shown a great interest in comparing and contrasting their culture with that of others, and specifically, the Argentine way of life. They also have posed a number of questions - some of which I am unable to answer. Still, I continue to use our frequent exchanges as occasions to encourage them to study abroad, should the opportunity arise, knowing that they will have many of their questions answered.