Clendening named Beauregard Parish Middle School Teacher of the Year
“Treat others the way you want to be treated!” – The Golden Rule
This maxim informs the way East Beauregard junior high teacher Mandy Clendening approaches teaching. In fact, it is her class motto.
One of her goals working with junior high students is to teach them how to treat their peers. As a member of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support team at EBHS, she helped launch the “Be Kind” campaign at the school.
The positive response was overwhelming; however, it did not resonate with all students. So Clendening decided to rephrase it and began teaching her students what her mom had taught her – Treat others the way you want to be treated.
“I found that phrasing to be successful, and it is a motto we live by in my classroom,” she said.
Clendening is on the school’s Google Classroom team and has participated in the Louisiana Virtual Instructional Strategies Training for Teachers. She has helped train the staff at EBHS in Google Classroom, Docs, Slides, and Forms. She was also a part of the group who met with parents and students to help them understand the technology that the district used for virtual learning last year and has incorporated for instruction over the past few years.
She believes that communication is key to the success of her students. She integrates different strategies to keep parents connected to what is happening in the classroom so that her students can achieve.
“I am committed to taking every opportunity to keep up-to-date with technologies for the classroom and to engage my students and parents to ensure that my students have the best opportunities to succeed,” she explained.
Clendening is the 2021-2022 Beauregard Parish Middle School Teacher of the Year. She has taught sixth and seventh grade math at the school for four years and has also taught seventh grade English language arts.
She earned her Bachelor of General Studies at McNeese State University and also has an Associate Degree from MSU in Parlegal Studies. Before becoming a teacher, she was a substitute teacher for four years and served as the East Beauregard Elementary bookkeeper for four years. She was the co-owner and operator of Lou Lou’s Bakery for two years, and worked as a paralegal at Amerisafe for nine years.
She is the EBHS softball coach and serves on the EBHS Google Team and PBIS Team.
For Clendening, teaching math and helping her students build character go hand in hand. She expects them to make mistakes and to learn from them. She reminds them that they can choose to look for the positive in every situation and not waste energy on negativity.
“I want them to know that they have the option to be the best version of themselves on a daily basis,” she explained.
Clendening stated that she would love to have a Block schedule so that she could spend more time engaging her students in mathematics in the classroom. She does offer them opportunities to work with ALEKS, a web-based math program that is aligned with the parish math curriculum. When students successfully complete their learning targets in ALEKS, she rewards them with a pie or a pizza.
Her advice to new educators is to be an encourager, to be honest, forgiving, and welcoming.
“I teach because I love my students, I love math, and I want to make a difference,” she concluded.