TEACHER OF THE WEEK: Amanda Ellis From Pitt County

The Teacher of the Week is Amanda G. Ellis.

She is a board certified music therapist who serves exceptional children's classrooms (K-12), across Pitt county. This is her fourth year working in Pitt county schools.

Ellis graduated from ECU with a bachelor of music degree in Music Therapy. She has experience providing music therapy in inclusive preschool settings, school age settings and psychiatric treatment settings.

As a music therapist, Ellis uses music and music interventions to accomplish goals across many areas in each classroom. She also writes songs to help the students learn the academic information in their curriculum. Music therapy group sessions promote academic learning, stimulate creativity and imagination and strive to improve communication. In addition, a variety of skills are addressed within each music therapy session. These include establishing eye contact, increasing attention span, strengthening coordination, increasing receptive and expressive communication, responding appropriately in social settings and increasing independence and self-direction.

Ellis writes "music is a great motivator and a very powerful tool. I truly enjoy watching students learn and grow and am thankful to be an active part of that experience along with their teachers and classroom assistants. I love finding the abilities within the disabilities and motivating students to learn."

The person who nominated Amanda wrote “Amanda has had a dramatic impact on what my students do in the classroom every time she visits us. I teach students that have moderate and severe disabilities and she never fails to put a smile on their face while she sings and gets them to participate with her. She covers any subject we ask her to and also tailors classroom music for us as well if we ask her. I always have the day that she is visiting us on the calendar and the students are always waiting with anticipation. She gives so much to the special education teachers of the county and she is more than deserving of this award.”

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