For the love of teaching
Even as a child growing up in Illinois, Amanda Butler knew she wanted to be a teacher. “I loved school. I wanted to live there. I wanted to be there all the time,” she says. That dream of being a teacher was ignited into a passion in 2006 when Butler moved to Bartow County, Georgia, where she worked as a reading interventionist. It was there Butler worked with students who struggled to read, and some even struggled with oral communication, despite coming from English-speaking homes.
Butler recalls an instance when she essentially took on the role of a language interventionist due to the children’s inability to grasp language. “This specific group of kindergarteners had such poor oral language development, I couldn’t even begin to teach them anything about literacy,” she says. Motivated from this experience, Butler decided to attain her Doctorate in reading education to better equip herself for these types of challenges.
While she was pursuing her Doctorate, Butler knew she could best serve her purpose as a professor in higher education so that she could share her expertise and experience with those who are going to be teachers. And, Butler shares that experience with students at Charleston Southern University, where she has been since 2017. She describes her undergraduate students as having that “fire in their belly” and “high aspirations.” “When they graduate, they are ready,” she said.
Butler is encouraged by the growing number of students at CSU and is also encouraged by the number of students coming into the education field, noting the shortage of teachers in the state.
A passion for teaching and education are not the only things that led Butler to CSU. Her Christian faith played a key role in her decision to teach at CSU. When she first applied for the position, she recalls the CSU chair of the search committee telling her that she would be praying for her and her decision to come teach at CSU. “I was like, ‘there we go. This is going to be a good place,’” she says. With a love for Christ, a passion for teaching and helping others, Butler is excited for the future of education at CSU as it continues to grow.
Hunter Gatling is a graduate student at Charleston Southern University and is a graduate assistant in the Marketing & Communication office.