Amanda Dougherty: I have built lifelong friendships in teaching profession

Amanda Dougherty is a Sulphur native giving back to the community that raised her. The McNeese State University graduate has spent the last 15 years as a teacher and currently teaches seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at W.W. Lewis Middle School.

Dougherty said she was motivated to pursue education because it would be a good profession for a growing family. “It gave me the opportunity to be a professional in the workforce and the mom I needed to be to my children,” she said.

While the first day on the job was “terrifying,” she found her stride with the help of her fellow co-workers who serve as mentors. “My biggest mentors have been and continue to be co-workers that share a passion for history and seek innovative ways to use technology in the classroom,” she said.

In addition to the benefits to her family that the career affords, one of her favorite things about teaching is all of the incredible friendships she’s made along the way. “I wish I could say it’s all about the kids, but honestly, it’s even more about the people that I work with. I have built lifelong friendships,” she said.

“Students come and go year to year, but these ladies are my support system and best friends.”

If given the chance to wish for anything for the profession, Dougherty joked that a bigger paycheck and the fulfillment of her Amazon wishlist would be perfect. “(But) really, my biggest wish is that teachers would be fully rewarded for the differences that we all make in kids’ lives and receive respect consistently from the community, students and state department.”

Teachers are on the frontline, she said, and a lack of respect pushes good ones away. “I hate to see us lose amazing teachers to other professions.”

When shes’s not teaching, Dougherty’s free time includes enjoying her children’s extracurricular activities and hanging out with friends when there’s time.

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