Position: Kindergarten / First Grade Teacher
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School: Rochester School
School District: White River Valley Supervisory Union
City, State: Rochester , VT
Amy Braun was nominated by her colleague, Jessie Potter.
Ms. Braun is a phenomenal teacher who spends boundless energy with her students. She guides them to explore and discover. Ms. Braun breathes life into beginner students, allowing them to grow into well-rounded individuals who have a hunger for new information. Her quiet manner lends a calm, productive environment, allowing her students to blossom and evolve with their individual styles. She allows time for the students to search for resolution to their own problems or questions, lending a gentle guidance towards a solution. Whether it's math, sight words, balancing on a bike, or splashing through puddles, Ms. Braun allows the students to grow at their own pace. She allows the parents to be an active part in their children's education, engaging them when the child is doing well or if they need extra help understanding a new lesson.
"Amy also has time for her coworkers, giving positive feedback and lending emotional support on tough days. Our school is better because she is part of it," said Potter.
I never had Amy as a teacher, but I had the pleasure of meeting her when I was teaching her sons a couple years ago. She is a truly incredible woman. Much deserved!!
I first learned of Amy Braun when my oldest grandchild entered Kindergarten. My own school years left me frustrated that children were so oppressed. I also worked in Ct. as a Para in the schools, years back, and knew how most classes operated here but not much had changed from the military like structure. Learning about Forest Friday's, where the classes were held outside in nature, exploring and learning, I was excited. Amy was offering children a chance to be children and play, the best way to learn and work things out. She also listens and communicates with her students and their parents. She is leading the way for a better education and a positive beginning. I know for a student like myself I would have truly been able to love school had it been with only the best teachers, such as Amy Braun. I have been so excited by her methods I have actually told others about her class. We've been long over due for a better way for children to be educated. We spend many years in a building, sitting at desks, moving from class to class when a bell rings. We can do better and help grow creative adults. I'd suggest we clone this woman because she's on the path I believe we need to be going for the country. Loving to learn because we work together, being outside in the fresh air, and being excited about school make for good medicine in a world that needs a reason to not need drugs for anxiety or drinks to cope. I know I am impressed with her style of teaching and have been waiting years to see a public education teacher show us it can be done better. I'd also add that we need to pay them better and demand the best. Amy gives us hers.
Amy is the kind of teacher that makes even the parents wish they are still in kindergarten. She brings imagination and play to even the simplest of tasks. Kids learn they are capable and strong in her classroom. Every Friday she takes the kids to the forest where they explore and build and cooperate and learn that there is no such thing as bad weather. My kids both had the good fortune to have Amy as their kindergarten teacher. Each week they'd do an in depth exploration of a different letter of the alphabet. During "T" week my eldest had a teddy bear "T" party in a nearby tipi with her class. My youngest went on a walking field trip to watch tadpoles and other wild life in a nearby pool. Projects like "favorite book", "math board game" and the "100th Day project" all gave students a chance to create and solve problems in their own individual way. Amy also did a fabulous job of involving parents in the classroom. During the pre-Covid times that my children were in her classroom she often invited parents to activities within the class and sent home regular news letters as to what the kids were up to. If one of my kids was having a hard day, she took the time to let me know with compassion and insight. I know my kids still share with me the lessons they learned in Mrs. Braun's classroom, and I'm sure many of those lessons will stay with them throughout their life. Amy Braun's exuberance, love and lively spirit are infused into everything she teaches, and I know every child that gets to call her teacher, is quite lucky.
Where do I start? I guess I start at the beginning. I have 3 children 10 years apart. I was blessed to have Amy as a second and third grade teacher for my oldest son in a 2 room schoolhouse. We happened to live on the other side of the field behind the school at the time. Amy earned my gratitude the first day that I was dragging my reluctant child across the field, having a meltdown, and she met me at the back of the playground and lightly tapped my arm and said the most magical words a stressed out mama could hear...”Tag, I’m it!”. She then told me that she had it from there and I could go tend to my toddler. My middle son had the experience of having Amy as a kindergarten teacher. She helped me so much with tips and support for his unique learning disabilities. There were many more “tag” moments with that one! She also cheered as loud as I did with his accomplishments. Then came my daughter. She also had Amy for kindergarten. We were in a bad family spot at that time and I refused to be talked into moving away just to have Amy be her teacher. I have showed up on her doorstep throughout the years with kids in toe and alone, just needing an ear to listen or a friend to help discuss a particular situation. She always opens the door with a smile and kind word. I’m not sure I would have had nearly as good of a school experience with all three of my kids if it wasn’t for the support and guidance of Amy.
I am not into absolutes, but i feel there is nobody more deserving of this award than Amy, at least in our little corner of VT. She makes a positive change in the life of everyone she meets, bar none. She is a TIRELESS advocate for children, especially those that need an advocate the most. She is a devoted and intensely hard working teacher, mother, wife, family member, community member, and friend. She is the kind of teacher her students will remember when they are all grown up; one of those teachers that literally shapes the kind of person her students become, for the better. She cares about her students like they are her own, and she cares about and supports young parents in a way that helps them become better parents, better caregivers, and better mentors. She leads by example, day after day after day. She has an infectious sense of humor and a sense of human decency that literally makes the world around her a better place. The communities of central VT are beyond lucky to have her in their midst.
I have known Amy since our sons (now seniors in high school) bonded after our town's s 4th of July parade as preschoolers. At that point, she taught at one of the last one room schoolhouses in Vermont and was used to educating a variety of learning levels in one classroom. Now, as the well established kindergarten teacher of Rochester School, I always enjoy visiting her classroom and seeing the stations she sets up to keep students curious, engaged, exploring. Add to the mix the great sense of humor she has with a very stressful job; I enjoy her "kinderquotes" which she shares on Facebook, highlighting the funniest comments kids say during a school day. Thank you Aim for your creativity and care with our students. Shine on.
As a parent who chose to transfer my child from a heavily resources school to this rural school simply based on the fact the school was going to be open 5 days a week during a pandemic while other schools with greater opportunities and funding were going to open only two days a week. I have been blown away by how Amy Braun utilizes the natural environment and her use of simple resources to extend play based learning through at least 7 different learning styles on a daily basis. Her ability to trust children to take risk where others see liability has built a community of active, engaged, resilient, problem solvers and learners. It is everything I hoped and dreamed for for my son. It was like finding a diamond in my back yard. Her skill and care are exceptional.
Amy Braun is one of the few educators who not only teaches kindness and acceptance, but how to be a good person. Kindergarten and first grade are crucial years of development and learning and now everyone is made to teach young kids. There is no one else I could think of who deserves an award like this more than Amy. If you find any of her past students, they will all have numerous stories to share about ways she has impacted their life.
18 years ago this amazing teacher, Mrs. Braun, influnced my life in so many ways. I was a 3rd grader in her class and to this day I remember the passion she had and has for engaging in her students lives. Saying she was an amazing teacher is understatement. She always go far and beyond what is needed of her.
I still remember the way she would make reading fun. She would put on silly hats and each hat would have a silly personality and voice to go along with every different story she read. I hated reading and i learned to be able to be a part of a story and I excelled in all my future classes. On top of that she gave me the passion to help children in need so I became a teacher for 5 years using some of her very techniques to reach out to students that i learned as a 3rd grader. Most importantly i would like to conclude with she never tries to change a childs way of thinking instead she embraces it and magnifys there potential. She molds with the students and there different family backgrounds and cultures. It seriously feels like she is family. I can testify I was there 18 years ago.
Your joy, energy, curiosity, and sense of wonder make each school say an adventure in learning!
We are lucky to have you inspire our future!
Thank you for building our community every day, even in times of pandemic.
amy taught our daughter in first and second grade when she was a teacher in our towns two-room schoolhouse. it was the end of an era as the school closed it's doors after 185 years when our daughter finished second grade. amy made such memories for those kids in that little schoolhouse, including burying a time capsule and finding a man from pennsylvania to come to vermont to fix the long broken bell so those kids could ring it daily until the last day. i was lucky enough to become amy's friend while she taught our daughter to read and write and use sign language and to sing all the presidents and how to spend her "braun bucks" wisely! it was a special time for all of us upon which we look back with fondness and gratitude. a small class, in an historic setting, with a teacher like amy was a gift. not every kid gets so lucky and i am happy to lend my support for my friend, amy, to win this award which will serve her current and future students well and highlight and honor a woman who truly deserves it.
Amy Braun has been my college, as well as my friend for about a decade now. She is one of the most creative, dynamic teachers I have ever met in my 20 plus years of working with and spending time with children and in the community.
The thing that stands out the most to me about Amy is her ability to take any situation and make it absolutely beautiful. When she is posed with a challenge she doesn't just figure out a way to handle it, she uses it as a way to find a new way to enrich the experience of her students and coworkers.
She speaks to all humans like they truly matter and provides a platform for them to make them feel that they have a voice, their thoughts are important, heard and truly matter to the world.
She is not only a lifechanger of the year..this is a lifelong honor for Amy.
My daughter Lucy has been incredibly blessed to have Amy as her classroom teacher for the second year. Amy is creative, funny, nurturing and absolutely committed to the well-being of her students. She has always been a leader in outdoor education, focusing on tactile and place base learning. This year, due to Covid, Amy has taken outdoor learning a step even further. Leveraging the help of handy parents, she's built an outdoor classroom and has created a curriculum that allows kids to do their academic learning almost entirely outside, rain or shine. In a public school setting, this is quite unusual! Every day my daughter comes home with interesting stories, dirty clothes, an eagerness to learn and a confidence that is born out of learning by doing. Amy has undoubtedly changed the life of my daughter, and my sons, and so many Rochester kids though out the years!