Aimee Hendricks’ ability to help her students feel seen and cared for is one of many reasons she was recognized for her outstanding teaching.
Hendricks received one of two Outstanding Beginning Teacher Awards awarded to MSU alumni during the March 1-2 Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education conference.
“I feel truly honored to receive this award,” she said. “Educators everywhere are going above and beyond, and I have learned a lot within my first couple years of teaching.”
Hendricks graduated from Missouri State University in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Now, she is in her second year of teaching fourth grade at Daniel Young Elementary School in Blue Springs, Missouri.
Being the teacher students need
During her undergraduate studies, Hendricks learned about the value of teachers in students’ lives.
“MSU showed me that teaching is not just about academics,” she said. “As teachers, we are also cheerleaders, mentors, advocates and more. Some days, you have to put academics aside and focus on showing students they are loved.”
Hendricks’ favorite part of teaching is seeing the impact teachers can have on students.
“My former students will come by my classroom still and talk about things they remember us doing, from read alouds to hands-on projects,” she said. “It’s amazing to create memories with students they will always remember.”
Hendricks shows support for her students by attending their athletic events, music recitals and more.
“It’s such a unique experience to see kids outside of school using one of their many talents, and it also shows that you care about them,” she said.
Using her experience to help future educators
For the past two years, Hendricks has virtually visited future educators in Dr. Rhonda Bishop’s course, Introduction to Elementary Education.
“Aimee prepared and shared details about getting ready for the first day of school, setting up a classroom, parent communication and so much more,” said Bishop, assistant professor of childhood education and family studies at MSU.
She also helps future teachers understand the difficulties and challenges of teaching but assures them that being an educator is worth it.
“It has been an honor to watch Aimee grow from a student to a full-time educator. I appreciate her continued efforts to support future teachers by sharing her journey as a teacher,” Bishop said.
Hendricks is grateful for her experience with Bishop and others at Missouri State.
“I’m incredibly thankful to have gone to such an amazing university and have amazing mentors, professors and colleagues,” Hendricks said.
“Behind every impactful educator is a team building them up. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the best.”