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New Canaan Teacher Aims To Shape the Future

Amanda Langlais knew from an early age that she would be a teacher — or something else. “Pretty much everyone in the family is a teacher or an engineer,” said Langlais. “I knew what I was getting into.”

The preferring the career of her mother and having a desire to help create better family and community interactions led Langlais , 28, to the classroom. She has enjoyed her time as a teacher of child development as well as foods and nutrition at New Canaan High School . For six years, Langlais has helped students learn about working with younger children and interacting with their own families. She also helps supervise the student-run preschool program.

Langlais said her classroom lessons are important because the students can apply the knowledge at home in how they relate to their families as well as in their dealings with younger children in summer camps or babysitting. “Studying child development helps with parenting skills and actually life skills,” she said. “It teaches you how to communicate with people.”

Langlais, a graduate of Liberty University in Virginia, wanted to teach child development because of her great family experiences growing up. Being a teacher, she said, gives her a small role in shaping future generations and helping students create positive family structures of their own. Her mother, Lorraine, a child development teacher in Waterbury, played a role in shaping that goal. And so did her father Roy, a retired youth counselor in the Connecticut prison system.

“There’s so much stuff going on that sets (people) back. If I can prepare the next generation of students to create a positive family environment, the next generation will be at advantage rather than a disadvantage,” Langlais said.

She said teaching is exactly what she wants to do and said she loves seeing the students make progress. “It can be challenging, but the rewards outweigh the challenges."

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