Amanda Klinkenberg Headshot

Education

Amanda Klinkenberg

Assistant Professor of Education

Education

  • MA University of Northern Iowa
  • BA University of Northern Iowa
  • Universidad de Oviedo

About

Amanda Klinkenberg joined Mount Mercy University in 2018 as an adjunct instructor and started as a lecturer in education in 2019. 

Before working at Mount Mercy, Klinkenberg had a variety of K–12 experiences, mostly teaching with a focus in Spanish. She previously worked as a Spanish adjunct instructor for Iowa Connections Academy, Spanish instructor for KCC Continuing Education, and Spanish teacher for Burlington Notre Dame High School. Klinkenberg has also worked for Webster City Community Schools, Northeast Iowa Community College, and Hawkeye Community College in the English as a Second Language area.

Klinkenberg’s education emphases in college were Spanish, English, and TESOL, with coursework in Hispano-American culture and literature, Spanish grammar and translation, as well as English linguistics, and language acquisition. 

Klinkenberg loves working with students in the classroom and experiencing "light bulb moments" with them. She has fun learning about everything in the world around her, particularly about new languages and cultures. When she is not in the classroom, Klinkenberg enjoys the outdoors, reading, traveling, and doing all those things with her husband and children. She is involved in her Lutheran church and volunteers with her children's activities and in their schools.

Q&A

We moved to the area a few years ago with my husband’s job. I had previous teaching experience as a high school ESL and Spanish teacher, as well as a university-level ESL and Spanish instructor. In my job search, I applied at Mount Mercy and started in the education department teaching ESL endorsement and secondary education classes as an adjunct. The next year, I was hired as half-time faculty, and this, though officially my third year with Mount Mercy, is my first year as a full-time faculty member.

Education students are very dedicated. This is a licensure program that is very rigorous, and we hold our students to extremely high standards. It is a joy to work with a passionate group of students. I especially love working with secondary education students who are also studying in a specific curricular area such as social studies, art, science, etc. I learn so much from my students about their content areas! I just love observing them teach in their practicum experiences and talking to them about their content areas.

My colleagues and I spend a big portion of our time off campus, out in K-12 classrooms. This year, we have mostly been “in” classrooms virtually to observe, but we will return to the classrooms in-person in the future. We observe our practicum students and student teachers often and being in so many different local classrooms is one of the things I like best about my job. We work with our students so that they become exceptional teachers, who then get to teach exponentially more students. The ripple effect of what we do is humbling.

I really enjoy teaching Principles of Secondary Education. It covers a wide variety of teaching principles such as instructional planning, management, assessment, teaching techniques, and more. We teach this class under the Professional Development School model, and our course itself takes place in a local school (other than this pandemic year) where all Mount Mercy students also have specific practicum experiences for the semester. It’s a very intense class but a lot of wonderful learning occurs when we are in the field together, aligning theory and practice.

I love teaching so much and I get to experience high points all the time! The best part about teaching is hearing from former students who reach out to tell you that you’ve impacted their learning or their life. I think many teachers would agree that this is a high point. I appreciate these moments, not only because it’s personally validating, but also because I think it shows a deep level of gratitude and even fulfillment in these former students. I believe that gratitude leads to happiness, and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve had a small part in impacting a happy teacher out in our schools, who is positively impacting their students! It’s a great cycle to be part of. Thank a teacher today!
I was well into my career as a secondary teacher before I learned, “teach your students, not your subject area”. This was very convicting to me because I loved teaching my subject area so much that maybe I was sometimes overlooking the unique human beings in my classroom. Students come first.