Biography 0f the Performer

Amanda Smith


I earned Bachelor and Master of Education degrees, and a Master of Library and Information Science, and worked in Texas public schools as a teacher and media specialist for 16 years. After being a life-long Texan, a few years ago I moved with my family to Florida. Many people spend their whole lives planning to move to Florida for retirement, but I am blessed to live here long before that time comes. Shortly after moving away from Texas, I was admitted to the Interdisciplinary Information Science Doctoral Program at University of North Texas. This ironic turn has been made possible through the wonders of the Internet and frequent flier miles.   


In school, I loved to read, but I was very nervous to read aloud in class, and I always messed up.  I never imagined that I would grow up and spend my days reading aloud.  When I became an elementary school library media specialist, I read stories aloud all day long, and decided that I loved it.  Reading stories many times helped me memorize them, so then I could just tell them, be more involved with my student audience, and  have fun with the characters' expressions and voices.  I always wanted to share stories that would make my students excited about the story and the place they heard it -- the library.

I probably gained the most storytelling experience at church, telling Bible stories to children. Aside from Bible stories, I like to tell stories that make listeners laugh.  Recently, I have been telling stories about old ladies. That makes perfect sense; there are so many storytellers in my family I can't get a word in, and -- they're all old ladies! 


 For several years, I worked on three school campuses each week.  I would read a story so many times in a week that I would have it memorized. This was really put to the test one time when I went to a job interview in a new school. The interview committee asked me to tell them a story -- right then and there, without any preparation.  Thankfully, I remembered the one I had read several times that week, and was able to tell it.  They must have liked it, because I got the job.