Teacher of the Week brings out musical side of students

CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — From marching in parades to taking part in competition, band is an essential part of many students’ academic lives.

In this week’s Teacher of the Week, we’re shining the spotlight on Amy Sandlin, a band teacher at Holly Shelter Middle School.

Sandlin says she enjoys nurturing the budding talent of young musicians.

During our visit, seventh-graders were sight reading music for their upcoming spring concert.

“Most of them, when they come into sixth grade, don’t know how to read music, play an instrument and it can be challenging,” Sandlin said.

But Sandlin is up for the challenge. She’s been teaching sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students at HSMS nine years. Altogether, she’s taught band 25 years.

“I grew up in a family of musicians, my brother is also a music teacher in Apex, NC, my father is a musician as well,” she said. “I can’t imagine going a day without experiencing music.”

Sandlin says learning to play music also teaches students valuable social skills.

“The students I have in these classes are not all from the same background, they don’t all hang out in the same groups,” Sandlin said. “A lot of times, they don’t even like each other, but they do have to learn in this setting to be able to work together towards a common goal or nothing we play is going to sound good.”

Abby Mendoza is in eighth grade and she’s been in Sandlin’s band classes for the last three years. She says learning to play music has helped her to focus more in other classes.

“It takes a lot of learning to do the flute and it helps me focus more with school because learning the flute is difficult but it helps make it easier with everything else,” Mendoza said. “She’s (Sandlin) told me to always be myself and never stop achieving your goals and its helped me to succeed in her class to play my flute really well.”

On behalf of WWAY and Mattress & Furniture Liquidators, we’re delighted to recognize Sandlin as our Teacher of the Week which HSMS Assistant Principal Scott Carter said is a well-deserved honor.

“Those kids that come to us and are focused are going to accomplish a lot of things but in middle school, part of our job is to help those kids learn how to focus and I think that’s where Ms. Sandlin excels by teaching those kids how to focus so they can be successful,” Carter said.

How does it feel to be our Teacher of the Week?

“It feels pretty amazing. I’m very surprised. I’m always humbled. I always feel like I have great kids and they make me look good,” Sandlin said. “I can’t imagine having done anything else as my career.”

Click here if you would like to recommend an educator for Teacher of the Week. Each week’s winner receives a $100 gift card.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover, News, Teacher Of The Week

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