My name is Amy Riley and I am a second grade teacher at Stratham Memorial School. This is my fourth year teaching at SMS, and I am thrilled be a part of their community of superb educators and Simply Marvelous Students!
I grew up in Central Massachusetts along with my brother Matt at Camp Kinneywood, where my parents have been the caretakers since 1993. Growing up at the camp allowed me to develop a deep appreciation for the outdoors, and I very much enjoy hiking, swimming, and playing all sorts of outdoor games. It has also given me an infinite amount of opportunities to work with children, and I am still in touch with many of the wonderful campers I've met throughout the years. This camp holds a very special place in my heart--not only is it the place where I grew up, but it also the place where my fiance Andrew (aka "Mitch") proposed to me in July of 2017!
I was able to develop a deep appreciation for learning through my own educational experiences. I've had many wonderful teachers throughout the years who created truly meaningful learning experiences for myself and my classmates, many of which I now try to incorporate in my own classroom. I cherish the relationships I've had with all of my teachers and still remain in contact with many of them. My 4th grade teacher Mrs. Paul, who used to play her guitar named George during many of our lessons, recently gave me a "George Junior" to use in my own classroom, and I am so excited to enhance our learning experiences with a bit of music once I learn how to play! Mrs. Paul is also the person who inspired me to write our new second grade play "Can't Stop The Seedling!"
Ms. Riley at Camp Kinneywood with a few of her former teachers
Top Left-Right: Mrs. Paul and Ms. Riley
Bottom Left-Right: Mrs. Zinkus and Mrs. Kennedy, Ms. Riley's Kindergarten Teachers
I attended college at the University of New Hampshire, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies as well as a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education. While attending UNH, I interned and volunteered in several different preschools and elementary schools in the seacoast area. I also ran after school clubs at the Durham Public Library and taught swim lessons at the UNH pool. For fun, I was also a member of UNH's improv comedy troupe (that is how Mitch and I met!)
In addition to sharing my love of learning and the great outdoors, my interests also include baking, reading (that includes children's books as well as books at my "just right" reading level!), crafting, taking pictures, listening to music, volunteering, and playing volleyball.
- My favorite animal is the giraffe, partially because they remind me of my own family. At 5'11", I am the shortest person in my family--my brother is 7 ft. tall, which is about 1 ft. taller than the average baby giraffe.
- Elephants are another favorite of mine because they are very smart. Did you know elephants can use their trunks to paint pictures and they can also use them as a snorkel when swimming?
- I was born in Worcester (woo-stah), MA, which is the birthplace of the smiley face, the first valentine in the U.S., modern rocketry, and the first public park!
- I used to have a dog named Ben who could peel bananas! Dogs also happen to be my favorite pet.
- I am left-handed, just like 3 of our last 5 U.S. Presidents (and Principal Fosher!)
- When I was in the second grade, I was chosen as an audience volunteer to be in a magic show. I floated on a platform in mid-air!
- I have been kissed by a sea lion three times at The New England Aquarium
- In 2014, I got to meet Eric Carle, who is the author of many children's books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I was so happy to speak with him and tell him about how I've used his books in my classroom. Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me is my favorite Eric Carle book.
- That same year, I also got to meet Mo Willems, who is the author of many children's book series, including Elephant and Piggie and The Pigeon books. He was absolutely hilarious and incredibly kind! He was thrilled to hear how much we all love his books :)
If you would like to learn more about the work I've done in other schools, please check out my previous classroom blog Feats of First Grade!