Amanda Edens
Posted on 04/15/2021
Amanda Edens

Today’s #HCSHeroes Spotlight is Amanda Edens, a 5th grade ELA and SS teacher at East Side Elementary. Mrs. Edens, who has taught for eleven years, is being recognized for her kind demeanor toward all of her students.


“Mrs. Edens goes above and beyond for her students and has worked hard to create a welcoming classroom environment for both her online and in person classes,” said Olivia Linehart, a colleague. “She is an amazing advocate for the East Side community and we are so lucky to have her!

Despite the challenges of remote learning this year, Mrs. Edens has made the extra effort to form positive relationships with her students and their families.

I knew forming relationships with students who were working exclusively at home would be incredibly challenging, so I really spent time figuring out how I could connect with them in a big way,” said Mrs. Edens. “I think my favorite thing I've changed is sending handwritten notes and trinkets to students at home. My homeroom class started out exclusively HCS@Home kiddos, but I kind of felt a little guilty not sending things to my in-person kids as well, so I just sent stuff to both groups of kids. It's probably the most powerful thing I've ever done as an educator. I definitely think it helped show my kids that I'm invested in their success, even if they aren't physically in the classroom.”

Instead of stopping the learning in the classroom, Mrs. Edens has also offered fun, engaging activities for her students to participate in after school as well. “I've also hosted Zoom movie nights, Zoom gaming sessions, and ding-dong-ditched work and treats off on students' porches. Most of my virtual students (and the in-person ones, too) have been remarkably engaged throughout the year, which isn't an easy thing right now! They've also told me how much they appreciate having opportunities to just hang out on Zoom with classmates they haven't seen or spent time with in a long time,” said Mrs. Edens.

“When we first went to virtual learning last March, we realized there would be an immediate need for our families for food. A team of teachers worked to set up a grocery distribution program to purchase and (safely) deliver groceries to our families. We also worked at the food bank once a week packing food for various mobile pantries in our area. We've had people dropping off work at the homes of students who can't make it to school to pick up their supplies. We've worked hard to get our families connected to the free EPB internet, as well as helping connect them to community resources for help paying rent and utilities,” said Mrs. Edens. “Playing off the saying ‘It takes a village,’ the East Side motto is ‘We ARE the village,’ and I'm just so lucky to be surrounded by coworkers who help me live out my role within our village.”

The efforts of our teachers and staff are truly heroic, and we are proud to have people like Mrs. Edens on our team to support our students!

Nominate an #HCSHero: