Deer Lakes

School District

Amanda Bixler

Hello!  My name is Amanda Bixler and I am your child's first grade teacher this year.  I have taught at Deer Lakes since 1999.  I began my career at Deer Lakes as permanent substitute at that time.  During the following year I taught half-day Kindergarten and continued to substitute.  I was hired to teach full time in 2000.  This is when I began teaching first grade.  
Making the change to first grade is not always easy. It is my role to help students transition into the more stringent academic demands of first grade. I wear many hats in this endeavor: teacher, mother, doctor, nurse, and at times, therapist. I feel that a teacher’s job is not just to teach only the curriculum, but to stress ethics, manners, socialization, and citizenship.

When I first started teaching I felt that everything had to be run by the book. As years pass I have realized how often my philosophy changes. I must always adapt my teaching methods to match the needs and demands of my classroom year to year, month to month, and even day to day. My core philosophy strives to create a safe learning environment where my students want to come to daily, to have strong communication between home and school, establish higher goals for all students and have my students understand that they can depend on me.

To give you an idea of how I incorporate my philosophy I want to give you a visual of my classroom. Before the school year begins I take great pride in decorating my classroom and try to make it a home away from home. It is colorful, fun and very inviting. Something that I truly have stuck to with my philosophy is creating a “family” in my classroom. I work hard each year to get to know my students and their families the best that I can. I also share as much as I can about myself with my students and their families. I find great joy in doing this and find that it helps create a strong bond between us. 

As the year progresses I try to meet with my kids when they arrive to school in the mornings. Sometimes we meet to improve on academics and most of the time we just talk about them. If I don’t have time to talk in the mornings, I will often eat lunch with my students or set aside time to talk. This helps me build greater trust and respect with each child.

Academically, I try to stick to the basic curriculum but always add my own flare. I try to incorporate differentiated instruction whenever I can. I like to teach using a variety of ideas that meet each child’s needs. I teach the children how to complete an expected task and match it to his/her learning level. I also like to incorporate a lot of peer tutoring with kids from my classroom and from my colleague’s classrooms. I take as many running records as I can throughout the year and match my records to the curriculum.

I became a teacher because, at heart, I will always be a child and like to be silly, sing songs and would even stand on my head if it would help a child to learn. I am not the type of teacher who pushes ahead because the curriculum is planned that way. If I have to take the time to stop and re-teach a lesson or two every now in then because I didn’t do it correctly the first time or my students had an off day, then so be it.

I think strong communication between home and school is one of the most important tasks that I should take on each year. I do my best to send home weekly newsletters that explain curriculum , school news and behavior expectations, monthly progress reports and make monthly phone calls for each student to discuss positives and negatives. This cuts down on parent problems and concerns. I enjoy talking to parents and having them let me become part of their child’s family.

My ultimate goal is to have a classroom that my students in the past, present and future always want to come back to. I want my students to remember me and the things that I have taught them, even if it is only one thing that sticks in their mind.

I still have a lot to learn and many challenges to face. I hope that I am granted the opportunity to teach for many more years to come as well as be given the chance to better my knowledge on how to become the “best”. I truly enjoy my job and the children that I teach. Some years are more difficult than others and it only challenges me to work harder.  


Please refer to your child's daily homework assignment in the "Take Home" folder.

Homework, Newsletter and Calendars:


Amanda Bixler
Teacher, Grade 1
Room 300 
1715 Saxonburg Blvd.
Tarentum, PA 15084
Phone: 724.265.5340 Ext. 5300

Office Hours:

 8:30 to 3:45, according to the district calendar.  

Joined Deer Lakes:



Education: Deer Lakes Graduate, BS in Education from Clarion University
Previous Work History: Worked as a Paraprofessional at Penn Hills School District for a few months in 1998 before being hired to be a permanent substitute at Deer Lakes.  Taught Preschool and summer camp at Royal Oaks throughout college, 1994-1998


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