Career Spotlight: Elementary School Teacher

The myOptions Team

Meet Serena, a 5th grade teacher in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is an alumna of both the University of Central Florida, where she received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, and the University of South Florida, where she received her Master’s in Reading Education.

Why did you decide to become an elementary school teacher?

I knew in 4th grade that I wanted to be a teacher. I had a wonderful, sweet, and patient teacher, Mrs. Sutton, who challenged me, understood me and pushed me. She held me to higher standards and I remember thinking, “I want to do that!” I wanted to pass along what she gave me; empowerment. Fast forward 12 years and I started to teaching 4th grade!

What grades have you taught?

I began my career teaching 4th grade in a Title I school. I taught primarily ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Language) kids. I am now team teaching 5th grade. Now that I team teach, I am able to focus solely on teaching my favorite subjects-reading, writing, and social studies!

On tough days, what keeps you motivated?

Although I could go on and on about the injustices teachers face, I must admit that the positive far outweighs the bad. I get to spend every day with witty, intelligent, and hilarious 10-year-olds. Who else can say that?! Seeing those children blossom and bloom is the reason why I give every ounce of my heart and soul into my job, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

What do you do in your free time?

I like snuggling with my two cats (shout out to Vera and Piper)! I am also an avid runner, so I enjoy running and traveling to new places for races.

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