April 19, 2023

A Mural Two Years in the Making

Amanda Jensen, 2023 Regional Teacher of the Year, began the mural with her students as third graders. After the pandemic forced a two-year pause, the students were able to come back together and finish it as fifth-graders.

In Spring 2020, Amanda Jensen, 2023 Regional Teacher of the Year and MAT alum, was mentoring Lewis & Clark student teacher Quin Nelson in her third grade class. Together they had planned a unique mural project with their students, inspired by a unit on Wangari Maathai that Quin had recently taught.

Then came the pandemic.

The mural was put on hold, seemingly indefinitely, as COVID-19 ravaged the world. Two years later, however, students were finally back at school in-person. Now fifth graders, they came together again to finish the project and completed it in 2022.

“It was a mural two years in the making,” says Jensen in the text posted along with the video on YouTube. “This group of students began their mural in third grade during the spring of 2020. They were able to complete it in spring 2022 as fifth graders–leaving their mark on Highland before heading to middle school.”

The video is available below or online.

Amanda is a truly remarkable educator, and mentor. She models social justice and antiracist pedagogy in everything she does and strives to empower students to make a difference in our world. She is so deserving of this award and we are honored to be able to claim her as an alum.

- Linda Griffin, Elementary MAT program director at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling

Learn more about Lewis & Clark’s MAT programs at https://graduate.lclark.edu/departments/teacher_education/ . Applications are currently open. Classes begin June 2023.