171: Advocating for Special Education Students with Amy Campbell

We all love that coworker who is filled with positive energy that spills over to everyone they touch. Certain people have a knack for celebrating the wins of others, and even though we all might want to be that person, it takes a specific mindset that most of us lack. It’s an incredible benefit when this person ends up in the field of education, where they can spend their days impacting the lives of students in positive ways.

Amy Campbell is a friend and colleague in my school district. As the 2020 Washington State Teacher of the Year, she is clearly gifted and intense, but she has now become a public figure who is a fierce advocate for her special education students.

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Show Highlights:

  • How Amy is intensely passionate about celebrating human success with her special education students who are moderately to profoundly impacted by their disabilities

  • Amy’s personal brand of intensity involves profound anxiety around celebrations and wanting others to enjoy life to the fullest

  • How her intensity made her feel different

  • Culturally speaking, Amy had a lot of privilege as a white, middle-class woman who was uninhibited

  • How she’s had to tone down her energy level that is more than most people, and how she “feels like the wrong person” at many times

  • How we feel too intense in many leadership and gender roles

  • How Amy uses her fire for good in having a positive presupposition about things and seeing her students with disabilities as assets and cause for celebration

  • How Amy is a fierce advocate for inclusion

  • How Amy harnesses the power of her intensity by understanding herself and having time for reflection

  • How personal habits of organization and running help Amy

  • How distance learning has affected Amy and the importance of her need for celebrations

  • The best advice for Amy came from her principal, who told her that she should lead adults in the same ways she leads kids

  • A recommended book: Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers

  • Why Amy’s favorite part of her job is the way she believes that every person needs space for voice and choice’

  • How Amy loves helping students learn to communicate their needs and wants

  • Parting advice from Amy: “You are enough. You are amazing. You are great. Look for the joy in this world and have a positive disposition. If you can share that joy, then you’re doing good in the world.”


Find Amy on Facebook or Twitter (@the_mrscampbell)

Check Amy out on YouTube

Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers

If I can brighten one person’s day and help them have a positive perspective, then I’m winning. ~ Amy Campbell
Advocating for Special Education Students with Amy Campbell
My intensity comes with celebrating humanity & it eeks out of everything I do. ~ Amy Campbell