Amanda Nelson, a helping hand

Amanda Nelson began teaching because she saw it as a way to help kids achieve their best selves.


Amanda Nelson, soon to be Amanda Zapzalka, has been teaching English for two years, this being her third, and every year, she seems to gain more and more fans. Whether this is because of her age or her laid back manner, is up for debate.

Nelson originally did not even want to be a teacher. Her life goal was, at one point, to go to college for business, but she quickly realized it was not for her. 

“I actually didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher until my sophomore year of college. I originally went for business, and then I realized really fast that business was just not for me,” Nelson said. “I got a job through Upward Bound and I started working with ninth graders that were struggling – struggling with school, and just life in general. Just seeing them learn to love learning and helping them was really cool.”

Upward Bound is a program designed to help students seek higher education, whether that be because they are the first in their family, or just that they cannot seem to find the motivation themselves. Being a part of this program really helped Nelson to discover her love for helping high schoolers, and just people in general. Although she is a very outgoing person, she does more than just help students all the time. One of her first jobs was at a bait shop.

“I liked it, [working at a bait shop] but I felt like I got really attached to some of the minnows,” Nelson said. “I really enjoy being outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping, you know, whatever it is.” 

Nelson tries her hardest to help kids, but there is only so much she can do. She enjoys being a teacher, but if she could be in any other profession, it would be social work. She could go further to help kids get anything they needed, whereas as a teacher, she can

 only do so much before it is moved on to the next person or before people give up on the case. 

“Social work, 100% social work. That was something I was kind of on the fence with for college. And I feel like you know that you can’t do everything you want to, but I feel like you can do so much more than I can do now. There’s only so much you can do as a teacher, whereas that way I could do so much more,” Nelson said. 

Overall, Amanda Nelson is someone who enjoys nature, english, her pets and helping others. Her goal is simply to help other people 

be their best selves and to achieve their goals. Although she has only been at BHS for two full years, she is already well loved by many students and staff.

“You could put that I went to school at NDSU. Go bison,” Nelson said.