Miss Amber Hansen comes from a family of educators. Both her parents have long careers in education along with her grandmother, several aunts and uncles as well as siblings. She has taught 1st grade for at least 9 years. My eighth grader had her for first grade and still comments on her experiences with Miss Hansen. Amber also taught our youngest, who is very active and excited about life. He can hardly keep quiet or sit still when he discovers or learns something new. She really instilled a desire for learning during that first full year of their formal education.
I have had many opportunities to watch Amber work with large class sizes and very active first graders. She directs and channels their energy into a positive environment while not crushing their individuality. She allows students to discover their own learning style and works with them, helping to identify great potential and helping parents see the goodness and great qualities these little ones have.
Miss Hansen has not only affected the students in her direct care, but has indirectly helped thousands of students. Five years ago, I was working part time as an Elementary PE teacher and was hired the day before school started to teach a first grade class. I was making a major career change from a very successful sales career to one where I could have a greater impact on lives. I had no manuals, books, plans or supplies, and Amber came to my rescue. She provided me with daily files for the first week, and then weekly files for the next 11 weeks until the district could get my books and manuals. She has shared many extra things with me and gone out of her way to make sure I was reaching my students. She spent countless extra hours pulling things and building files for me, all while she was working on her Masters in Education. She truly is a Master Educator for her First graders and fellow educators. I have shared her ideas and files with other teachers as I have tried to continue her great attitude and love of learning throughout my teaching career as well. I can think of no greater reward than to honor this fabulous person who gives her all. There is no way to count the students affected, or measure the impact this one individual has had on so many lives. Miss Amber Hansen is truly deserving of the KSL/Zions Bank Teacher Feature Award.