Goodson, Long Cane Elementary’s Teacher of the Year, known for teaching preschoolers with patience and kindness

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a part of the features on the Teacher of the Year nominees of the 2021-2022 school year.

If you see Amy Goodson at Long Cane Elementary, you are sure to see her surrounded by pre-schoolers, many of which are in their first year of formal education. Goodson is in her seventh year at the school and was nominated for Teacher of the Year for the 2021-2022 school year. Goodson said she regularly has to explain to her students that she does not live at the school, but  is actually only there to be their teacher.

“In pre-K, they think that we can’t leave the school. They think that we sleep here, we eat here, [and] I even had a kid one day ask me where my bed was,” Goodson said. “For them to see me out in the community and to be involved in their life outside of school, I really enjoy that.”

Goodson, a long time Auburn fan, will often bring in sports teams to help her students learn valuable lessons on what it means to win and lose.

“We’ll talk about Auburn a lot and about Georgia. They learn a lot at this age of how to lose and how to win. We do talk about that: how to lose well and how to win well,” she said.

“If we’re picking a book to read, I’ll let them choose, and they vote on what to what they want to read. If they are on the losing side, it can be a little tough.”

Principal Katie Brown said Goodson has a lot of pride in being at Long Cane.

“She has the most school spirit out of any of the teachers at Long Cane. She’s always willing to dress up on the dress-up days and always chips in to help with any committees that we have going on in the school,” Brown said.

Brown said she is always in awe of Goodson when she sees her on the first day of school.

“Every time I see her on the first day of school [and] in the first week of school, I am just in awe of how she handles students that have never been in school before,” Brown said. “She is kind and loving to them, but at the same time, always set high expectations. [She] teaches kids procedures and routines, which helps them have a successful year.”

Goodson is involved in not just her school community but her church and her children’s extracurricular activities as well.

“I’m very involved in my church. I teach children’s church there. I love going and like being involved in different activities that my kids are involved in,” Goodson said. “I love when it’s T-ball season, I’ll go and watch them. If its basketball season, [I’ll] go watch the basketball game.”

Brown said Goodson is a respected and loved member of their school for a variety of reasons, including her patience and thoughtfulness.

“Ms. Goodson is very well respected and loved by her peers at [LCE]. She is extremely patient. She is extremely thoughtful. She is always thinking about others,” Brown said. “She just has a natural ability to work with little kids. She understands them and meets all of their needs every single day.”

Goodson said she considers her students as part of her family and treats them as if they are her own.

“My students are like my family. I often talk about “my kids” because once they enter my class I do consider them to be my kids,” she said. “I do my best to praise them for the good, correct them when they need guidance and above all else love them unconditionally.”

Goodson said she hopes her students know that she wants them to be themselves.

“I want my students to know that in my classroom they are welcome to be themselves. Be curious and eager to learn new information,” Goodson said. “Take time to explore. Be inventive. Mistakes are okay as long as you are doing your best and learning from it.”