Fourth-grade teacher Amanda Cumings-Ozkaynak didn’t know that she wanted to be a teacher when she started college and instead, she studied economics at Wheaton College pursuing a career in finance. After working in the finance industry for four years, she realized that it wasn’t for her and she set her sights on becoming a teacher. She went on to get a master’s degree in elementary education from Lesley University while interning at Hillside Elementary School in Needham.
“I think deep down I always wanted to be a teacher, but it took a few years to realize it,” she said.
If you weren’t a teacher, what other profession could you see yourself doing?
I can’t imagine being in any profession other than teaching at this point. Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked in finance. I think that experience helped me realize teaching was my true passion and it made me value teaching more than I think I otherwise would have.
Is there someone who inspired you to teach?
My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Weintraub, and my mom. Even though my mom wasn’t a teacher, I think she would have been an amazing teacher.
Do your students inspire you?
Yes, they inspire me every day. Their ideas, their energy, and their excitement are contagious.
Do you feel that technology has changed the way you teach?
I have only been teaching for a few years so technology has always been a part of the way I teach. I think technology is a great way to share resources and collaborate with other teachers. I also think technology helps with differentiating among students and helping them focus on areas they need more practice.