Q&A with the Experts – Amanda Stroberg – Eastlake High School
How many years have you worked in education?
This is my 22nd year in education and I have a multiple subject, single subject, and preliminary services administrative credential.
How many years with the Sweetwater District?
This is my 14th year in the district.
What subject area do you teach?
I am a Biology teacher by trade. I also developed a Forensics course that has been approved by the University of California system as a “g” elective. In my current role, I serve as the Attendance Coordinator at Eastlake High School.
What inspired you to pursue a career in education?
Initially, I wanted to go to medical school and knew I wanted to be in the field of science. That led me to teaching.
What inspires you daily to do your best?
The staff I work with inspire me to do my best. I want to support them the best I can, as well as the students I serve.
Please share your experience in teaching during a pandemic?
I taught the first three weeks and recognize the challenge in developing relationships with students and families online. I believe all teachers want to meet their students in person to create a more personal connection, but everyone is doing the best they can, given the situation. Creating work that cannot simply be copied off the internet is time-consuming, and because we all care, educators are putting in the necessary time to do the best they can. I am fortunate to work with colleagues who are willing to do what it takes.
What have you learned most during this season of teaching?
Communication is key. Keeping that line of communication open is just as important.
How have you adapted to distance learning?
This shift was not difficult for me as I worked online for six years prior to the pandemic. I am comfortable teaching online, managing time online, and making phone calls home due to my prior experiences.
What advice would you give parents on how best to support their students?
Educators cannot stress enough the importance of being involved in your child’s education. That means checking their grades and work to see if your student is struggling. While we want students to self-advocate, if your student is not succeeding online, we encourage parents to get involved in their learning. Teachers need parent support during this time to help keep students on pace if they are not participating. Equally as important, communicate immediately with teachers if you see your student is struggling. We do not want students to fail and appreciate when parents contact us for help or to let us know if there are factors at home interfering with school.
What unique ways have you tried to engage with your students while teaching online?
I like to text students to see if they have a phone since many of them have this communication tool already in place.
As a teacher and a parent with school age children, how are you navigating working and providing distance learning for your children?
I have children in 6th, 8th, and 11th grade. I am very fortunate that my children can work independently. I do check in with them periodically and I check their grades weekly as well. While time consuming, I do read all teacher messages (14 teachers) and all principal messages (3 principals), as well as know the bell schedules as they all have different schedules. As a parent, it is my responsibility to keep up with the information and be informed, so I take the time to read at night so I’m aware of what’s needed from them. With all the transparency these days, we parents have access to all our students’ information so it is easy to see how my children are doing.
Any fun hobbies or interests you would like to share?
I enjoy music and like to play the guitar (still learning) and sing at church. I also enjoy working out, reading, and spending time with my family.