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Amanda Carpenter is this week's Teacher Tribute award winner

Published On: May 15 2014 11:52:41 AM CDT   Updated On: May 16 2014 07:29:54 AM CDT

The first year in the classroom is likely one of the most memorable and challenging in a teacher's career. It's also not an easy time to win an award, chosen by one of your students.

But this week's Teacher Tribute award winner has made it happen.

We caught up with Amanda Carpenter on a field trip to the Abilene Zoo. She's wrapping up her first year in the classroom teaching 3rd graders at Austin Elementary. Watching her communicate, teach, and simply manage a couple dozen 8- to 10-year-olds, you'd never guess she's only been in her own classroom for a matter of months.
Amanda grew up knowing she would be a teacher. Both of her parents are educators. Amanda says she would spend Sunday afternoons in her mom's classroom, creating and even grading her own worksheets for a pretend class. Even with all that experience, Amanda admits this first year heading up her own class has had plenty of ups and downs.

"In student teaching it's not your class, so when you're actually the one responsible, it's very different, but it's been a fun learning curve," Carpenter said.