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Amy Chishom: Teaching Teachers to Teach

A teacher who teaches teachers teaching tips and tricks. Tongue twister?

No, it's 20-year teaching veteran Amy Chisholm's new role! This fall, Amy is taking on a new challenge: she's joining Koontz Elementary as the school's very first Beginning Teacher Coach, a role that isn't common in the state.

"I will be helping first-year teachers learn the skills they don’t teach in college, improve their classroom management and be there to support them,” says Amy. “So often new teachers don’t have a mentor or access to the knowledge of master teachers. But here, the district is making sure new teachers have what they need.”

Amy knows firsthand just how tough being a new teacher is. 

"My first year teaching, I knew nothing,” she jokes. “My degree wasn’t in education, and I really could’ve used this kind of support. So many new teachers leave the profession because it is so stressful. But students need consistency.”

Amy took her first teaching job in Montgomery County in 2000. Seven years ago, she came to Rowan-Salisbury Schools and got the opportunity to be a Reading Design Coach at Faith Elementary, helping teachers improve their literacy instruction.

Although her most recent roles have emphasized teaching teachers, Amy’s end focus is always on the students. 

"I’m big on building relationships with students. Students are the reason we’re here,” she says. “I work hard to understand them so I can help our teachers understand them better, too.”  

One way she gets to build relationships with students is by supervising the car drop-off line every morning as parents send their children off for school. She loves talking with parents and saying hi to the younger siblings—the next generation of RSS students!

"This year one little brother was so excited to say hi to me that he started painting little cards for me,” she says. “It is the little things like that let me know I’m making a difference.” 

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