Amy Buckingham: A teacher who cares


Photo courtesy Harel Sabag

Amy Buckingham prepares to teach her first period sociology class.

When Amy Buckingham was graduating college, she had an important decision to make. She was unhappy with the major she had chosen and wanted to do something different with her life. Not wanting to give up her senior year spring break, she begrudgingly took up student teaching as a backup plan. Within days of teaching, she fell in love with the profession.

When she went to work for the FDA she realized that she hated her job, and one day her friend suggested teaching again to her. The next day the Montgomery County Gazette printed the annual teaching teacher salaries, and she knew that even though she would be making less money, it was the right decision for her to make.

After going back to school to get a master’s degree, she started teaching at Whitman and has been a teacher for 22 years since.

Juggling being the teacher of AP Psychology and sociology as well as sponsoring SGA, Buckingham wants to make the world of students a better place; she cares about students’ personal lives and their academic careers. “When I’m able to create a comfortable atmosphere and students are able to share with me it helps me see from their view what’s going on; what you might need, whether it’s an extended deadline, or the ability to write on a test, or the ability to not take a test on a certain day. It is more of an awareness of what people feel or what they might need. I’m trying to make your world, and right now your world is in these hallowed halls, a better place,” Buckingham said.

She also said that her motives for what she does include loving what she teaches, caring about the kids, and wanting students to feel happy. She wants students to know that someone in the building cares about them and always has an open door. As a teacher, she finds herself learning as well. “I’m not done learning. There’s so much that I don’t know, whether it’s what people are going through, what they’re good at, or who they’re friends with,” Buckingham said.

Her students feel her compassion when teaching as well, reflecting on how she makes them feel supported and heard. “She always supports my ideas and helps make my dreams into a reality,” sophomore Madeline Eig said.

Buckingham prides herself in offering a helping hand to students, talking about how she used to keep snacks in her room before the pandemic, and how she is always open to students talking to her during lunch about any of their needs. “My favorite part of teaching is the unstructured time with the kids, it’s the time when I am here when somebody needs me to be, when my door is open, when somebody needs a person to talk to or a place to sit or and I have it,” Buckingham said.

When students need her, Buckingham always has her door open and a helping hand to offer. To put it simply, “She’s the best,” junior Zo Singh said.