“My teaching journey began with me working for a non-profit organization where part of my duties entailed overseeing the afterschool program," says fifth-grade teacher Shereen Pierce. "In that position, I developed a passion for wanting to help students succeed academically. Therefore, my journey continued with me returning to school to obtain an Elementary Education Degree from Kennesaw State University,”
Ms. Pierce began teaching at Wesley in 2011 and now teaches both math and reading. “Some of the reasons I love to teach fifth grade is the content taught in fifth grade, and dialogue of the fifth graders as well as their unique sense of humor.”
She sees her students as thinkers, communicators, and caring individuals. “They demonstrate those traits in how they treat each other. However, the IB traits are ongoing, and it will take a lot more time for the students to exhibit many of those traits.” After the COVID-19 pandemic, she believes students are still trying to get used to being in school after transitioning from virtual learning.
Ms. Piece loves helping students become independent learners. Looking back on her second year of teaching at Wesley, she assigned her students to create and teach a reading or math standard that had not been taught to the kindergarten classes. “The students had to collaborate with the kindergarten teacher, look up the standards, come up with an activity, and then teach the lesson to the class when it was convenient for the teacher.” She has seen some of those students from that year talk about how motivated that assignment has made them over the years.
When asked what her favorite thing about teaching at Wesley was, Ms. Pierce exclaimed, “The opportunity to have autonomy in how you teach. I like the idea of teaching using stations/centers, project-based learning, and using a curriculum and [tweaking] it to better suit the needs of the students. Additionally, I like how there is a sense of community. Something else I enjoy is having that open door policy where I can go to administration (Mrs. Goodman) and talk about any issues or concerns I may have, not just Wesley's stuff but also my academic studies and life issues. Lastly, the friendships I have developed with so many of the teachers on staff in PYP and MYP help motivate and encourage me to be a better educator and person.”
Ms. Pierce has a lot of aspirations when it comes to her students, “I hope when they walk away from the class that I share with Ms. Prude, that they know that they were loved and that someone cared enough to get the best out of them academically, emotionally, and socially. I want my students to be independent enough to know how to seek knowledge and set goals and high standards for themselves.”
Ms. Pierce has a goal of completing an Education Specialist Degree in Elementary Education from the University of West Georgia by this December. Outside of school, she enjoys taking time to lift weights, run, do yoga, and spend time with her friends and family.
Thank you, Ms. Pierce. The Wesley family appreciates everything you do for our school and community!