Spotlight Teacher of the Month: Amanda O’Dell

School DAmanda O'Dell 2istrict: Kansas City Public Schools, MO
Position:  Special Education Teacher

Since she began using Rethink 2 years ago, Amanda O’Dell has experienced its tangible benefits at work in her classroom, impacting everyone from paraprofessionals and parents to general education teachers. Most importantly, Amanda has seen her students grow.  Using Rethink, each classroom team member is able to implement student programs and run classroom systems at anytime, providing students with consistent and regular access to meaningful learning opportunities all throughout the day. Rethink has also lead to increased inclusion opportunities for her students.  Using the Rethink Activity Center, students are able to be fully included in lab time with their general education peers as they work on Rethink goals tied to their IEPs online.

One of the most valuable aspects of Rethink has been its ability to facilitate collaboration with parents and with general education teachers.  The parents of Amanda’s students are able to be more involved in their children’s education with access to Rethink’s printable materials, progress reports, lesson videos, and the Activity Center.  Likewise, general education teachers are able to better support students’ individual needs with access to lesson videos, data collection and the many other valuable resources Rethink provides.


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“Rethink provides me and my team with what I like to call the 5 Cs: consistency, confidence, collaboration, community and connections to real life application of best practices that benefit students, parents and educators.”

1041Amanda has witnessed remarkable success with one student in particular.  This student started the year struggling to read sight words, a goal he had been working toward the previous year. Amanda and her team used Rethink to create a more rigorous program that pushed him to read and communicate more about the world around him. Amanda found that using Rethink to help this student relate pictures to words, he was able to learn and acquire more words at a faster pace. He is now reading full sentences aloud and matching them to pictures with no assistance. Using Rethink’s data tracking and graphing tools in Rethink, his learning team was able to see what they needed to adjust in their teaching to ensure the student’s continued progress. They were also able to use this data to prove that while this student was making marked progress, he was having trouble maintaining academic skills during extended breaks from school, helping them make the important decision to support him with ESY programming over the summer.

 Keep up the amazing work, Amanda!

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