Springwood’s Teacher of the Year: Reaching hearts and impacting lives

Published 9:30 am Saturday, April 22, 2023

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The influence a good teacher can have on a student will last them a lifetime. Amy Camp, a 27-year educator and homeschooling parent, knows this better than anyone. 

Last week, Camp, a Springwood high school math teacher, was named Alabama Independent School Association Class AAA Secondary Teacher of the Year

“The students think I’m here to teach them math, but I’m here to teach them a lot more than that,” Camp said “My goal as an educator is to reach their hearts and to impact their lives. It’s not about them being the best algebra or pre-calculus students.”

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Camp spent many years of her career teaching for a private tutor business and homeschooling. At the height of COVID-19, Camp and her children decided to return to traditional schooling. 

“I really feel like the Lord led me here,” Camp said. “That’s the only way I can describe it.” 

Springwood School not only became her children’s new home but hers as well. Camp joined the Springwood School faculty in 2020. 

“I thought the school was just different,” Camp said. “I thought it was a good fit for our family.”

At Springwood, she acts as the Student Government Association sponsor. This year SGA raised thousands of dollars for updating the high school bathrooms. They have participated in many school events including homecoming. The students also traveled to Atlanta to volunteer for Operation Christmas Child Distribution Center.

“I’m very proud of the leadership qualities that are growing within them,” Camp said. 

Next school year, Camp is taking four seniors on an international trip to Zambia, Africa, for a Women’s Leadership Conference. 

“As parents, we like to open the eyes of our kids to a different worldview, and so I asked if I could do the same with some of the students here,” Camp said.

Camp will be speaking at the event, and her students will help run the conference. Camp has taken her own children to other countries and believes in exposing young people to different cultures. 

“When you take them out of our environment and put them in a third-world country, and they see it firsthand, it’s going to change their whole world,” she said.

In the past 27 years, one of the biggest challenges Camp has faced has been the battle with technology. 

“A student can get any information that they want immediately,” she said. “They do not have to get it from a teacher honestly.”

Camp said it can be a struggle to teach her students to have a desire for learning rather than just to access information easily through technology. 

Still, Camp has faced the challenge by ensuring that her teaching approach stays malleable. She tries to show how to use technology in a positive way that supports learning rather than hinders it.

“As a math teacher, I feel like we have to stay on top of that because when these kids go to college, they’re gonna have to know how to do. The math classes are online, their homework’s online, their projects are online,” Camp said. “It’s just a lot, so we’ve got to stay on top of it.”

One of Camp’s favorite biggest student success stories has been her own daughter. After homeschooling her all the way up to high school graduation, Camp’s oldest daughter graduated from college at the top of her class and is now in her first year of teaching. 

“When she graduated, she said, ‘Mom, I understand what you sacrificed to teach me all these years, and I’m so thankful that we had that time together,’” Camp said. 

When she was named AISA Secondary Teacher of the Year, Camp was stunned. The whole school gathered to hear the announcement. What meant the most to Camp were the students and coworkers who cheered her on.  

“That was a really special time. It just made me tear up, all the hugs and the sweet things they said,” Camp said.

At the end of the month, Camp will travel to Montgomery to receive her award from the AISA.