Student Spotlight: Amanda Cahill

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Senior Amanda Cahill’s final season as part of the women’s basketball team is one she—and the rest of the university—will always remember. As a forward, she led the team to a WNIT championship, a perfect end to her career with IU basketball. But her time on the team was also an ideal preparation for becoming a teacher. 

“As a senior captain this year with five freshmen on the team, I was often explaining drills, plays, and concepts to my younger teammates,” she explained. “These explanations occurred on both the sidelines and sometimes even in the middle of playing.  It is important to be able to get concepts across clearly but in a sufficient way in both basketball and in the classroom.”

Cahill also learned about acting and responding quickly: “Basketball is a fast game so decisions are always required to be made within seconds. Often in a classroom, unexpected questions or various bumps in lessons will come up and I think basketball has prepared me to handle these things.”

Cahill knows how important having a good relationship with her fellow teachers will be in a future job. She credits basketball with showing her the importance of teamwork and hard work.  

“I understand the importance of working with others which will be important as I work with my co-workers and teaching team. I also know how to give things my all from basketball and what it looks like to work as hard as I can to accomplish a goal.  As a teacher, I plan to use the same mindset to try my best to give my students the best educational experience I can.”

Cahill was inspired to become a teacher by a person very close to her: her father. She chose to major in elementary education, hoping to instill the same value of education in her students as she grew up with.

“Education is something that cannot be taken away from you and gives you countless opportunities throughout your lifetime,” Cahill remarked. “I also think education is more than just going to school but finding a love for learning that is a lifelong journey.”

Cahill has committed to different types of teaching experiences. She spent over three weeks teaching English, basketball and life skills to students in rural Vietnam. After basketball season ended, Cahill worked as a substitute teacher, a job she calls eye-opening.

“It was challenging not knowing the kids' names or the normal routine,” she said. “However, it made me even more excited to someday get my own classroom and be able to build those relationships with students and form my own plans.”

Cahill will spend the summer in her hometown of Clyde, Ohio, before returning to Bloomington in the fall to complete her student teaching experience at University Elementary. After that, she plans to play professional basketball for a few years overseas before returning to the U.S. to teach and possibly coach.