One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to teaching.

 

“You come in with a plan but you have to be flexible and be ready to change based on the kids,” said Amanda Huambachano, who is KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week and has taught kindergarten at Wonder Park Elementary School for four years. During that time, she’s learned to adapt to her students. “I find out what they’re interested in and then I like to teach to their interests, so some of things I’m doing this year, I didn’t do last year.”

 

While her specific game plan may change year to year, her overall approach stays the same. It starts by getting students out of their seats.

 

“Five- and six-year-olds need to be moving,” Huambachano explained. “They can’t sit still for too long or they get bored and they’re not engaged and not motivated to learn,”

 

Huambachano also asks a lot of questions, which are typically answered as a class or in smaller groups.

 

“If you just have one kid answer, then they’re not all thinking,” she said. “So, if you have them think about it for a little bit and share with a partner then they’re all having to think and be engaged.”

 

Staying active and engaged has earned Huambachano a lot of praise from her students. Kindergartener Braylen Tademy called her “the best teacher ever.”

 

Huambachano credits her success to building solid connections with her students.

 

“When they know I care about them and have a personal relationship with them, then they’re more likely to want to do their best and give their best,” she said.

 

Huambachano’s mother also taught kindergarten.