Welcome, Alyssa Amels!
Updated: Aug 25
Alyssa Amels came into the Sussex Christian School community as a curious 5-year old. Now, more than 15 years later, she is welcomed with open arms as our full-time 2nd-grade teacher. And we could not be more excited!
Ms. Amels knew that she wanted to be a teacher when she was in kindergarten at SCS. “I loved my teacher, Mrs. Vander Groef, so much, and I wanted to be just like her,” she recalls. “And that was just down the hall, which is pretty crazy!”
She pursued her elementary education degree from Messiah University, where she graduated earlier this year. There, she was taught not only how to bring faith into every subject, but also social-emotional learning-- an especially passionate subject for her.
“Social-emotional learning goes beyond teaching children academics. It teaches them emotions and the basics of interacting with others,” Ms. Amels explains. “It’s important for students at this age to learn how to respond to their own emotions and those of the people around them. I want to incorporate that into all parts of the curriculum.
As a student at SCS herself, Ms. Amels looks back at her experience as a time full of community support. She remembers attending Fall Festivals, school dinners, and sports games, and always felt a part of a bigger family. “Everywhere you went, you had someone you could talk with, someone that you could trust.”
Now, she will work to build that kind of community for her students.
“I’m most excited to meet all of my new students, and begin immersing myself in the SCS community once again.”
Looking around Ms. Amels’s classroom, it is clear that she has created a space that will foster encouragement, acceptance, and creativity in her young students. Her Growth Mindset Wall features statements that strengthen student’s self-esteem and growth potential. Instead of “I can’t do it,” “I will overcome this challenge!” Rather than “I’m not smart,” students say “my brain can always grow some more.”
Ms. Amels’s favorite part of the classroom, though, is a mirror by the classroom door called the Be You Mirror. Surrounding it are statements like “I am valued,” “I am safe,” and “I am wonderfully made.”
“Encouragement throughout the classroom will hopefully encourage the kids in a variety of ways.”
Welcome back to the SCS family, Alyssa Amels! We thank God for your contribution to the community and look forward to a great year ahead.