If you asked Extraordinary Educator, Shaina Parker, why she chose to become a middle school teacher, she would say she teaches middle schoolers because of the “growing pains” she experienced during her own formative middle school years.
“I selected middle school as my concentration due to the personal growing pains endured – or rather inflicted upon my parents! – during those years,” she says. “Even when I did not listen to my parents and grandmother, I somewhat listened to my teachers during that time. My middle school teachers could reach me when my parents could not, and I want to be that figure for other teens growing up.”
Now, as sixth-grade teacher at Allen Jay Preparatory Academy, Shaina spends her time guiding her middle school students through English Language Arts. She says she is continually inspired by the quote, “Children will follow your example,not your advice,” as it rings true to her own experience as a middle schooler and now as a teacher.
“It is important to lead by example and be positive role models for all youth today,” she says. “There are enough negative images, messages, and figures bombarding our youth – we must provide a balance!”
Her motivation to become a teacher was not only inspired by her own personal experiences, but also by her opportunity to receive the NC Teaching Fellows’ scholarship.
“It was due to this scholarship opportunity that I even considered and pursued education as a profession,” Shaina says. “A mentor once said to me when I learned I had received the scholarship, ‘Well, if God is making it easier for you to be a teacher, why not at least try it?’ I couldn’t argue with that!”
Today, it’s clear to those who work with her that Shaina was always meant to be an educator. She was nominated as AJP’s Extraordinary Educator by her principal, Dr. Kevin Wheat, who said this of Shaina:
“Mrs. Parker is a highly energetic and innovative educator who strives to make her classroom an engaging environment for all scholars to excel. She is a dedicated professional who works tirelessly to serve the Allen Jay Prep community.”
Shaina says that her pride in working in the AJP community comes from the superstar teachers she is surrounded by.
“We all believe in our mission and vision, and are committed to creating a community of not only life-long learners but also leaders of strong character,” she explains. “All of my students, colleagues, and school administrators have influenced me as a professional.”
It’s also no surprise to those who know Shaina that school spirit comes naturally to her. An avid fan of school spirit week (“Who doesn’t love school spirit week?!” she says), an advocate for AJP throughout the community, and a dedicated behind-the-scenes contributor, Shaina gives much more to her students that simply her weekly lesson plans.
“I demonstrate school spirit by exuding enthusiasm and positive energy as soon as I touch the door,” Shaina says. “A smile and a good morning goes a long way! Any program or drive our school clubs sponsor, I am sure to hype my homeroom into participating and participate in myself.”
And Shaina plans to keep working behind the scenes and in the front of the classroom to see that our High Point students receive the best possible education.
“My hope for the future of High Point schools,” she says, “is that we continue to offer new opportunities, expand the horizons of our learners, and continue to vigorously teach students to think critically, demand evidence, and to think for themselves.”
Keep discovering our High Points,
Photography by Maria West Photography
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