MISSOULA — This week's One Class at a Time winner is the final recipient of grant for the 2022-2023 school year.
Amanda McDanold is a first grade teacher at Hellgate Elementary School, who didn't always imagine herself as a teacher.
“I got into teaching later in life, I started college later, I was already a mom," shared McDanold. "So when I graduated, I already had a son and my husband and I’s second child on the way, so it was something I found later in life. I like to see the spark in people.”
With the energy and spark of her littles inspiring her, McDanold wants to add a few things to her classroom. She’ll be buying more storybooks and manipulatives, or hands-on items, that match what the books talk about with her $250 One Class at a Time grant.
“Storybooks alone give students exposure to vocabulary, start to build on that phonetic awareness, and when we tie it to hands-on learning, we can dive into more complex skills,” McDanold explained.
The books and manipulatives will help students make connections between ideas in their books and other subjects, like science. McDanold is hoping it will give her students some courage to keep doing hard things.
“I think consistently through my years of teaching, I think the one thing that I want and hope they take away is that they truly can do hard things.”