National Honor Society Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Ms. Shannon

By Marie Buturishvili, NHS Member

As one of the newest faculty members of Fair Lawn High School, Ms. Shannon is a significant member of the school’s community. Graduating from Drew University with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and Music and a Masters degree in Spanish teaching and ESL, Ms. Shannon was soon hired by Fair Lawn High School as a Spanish teacher. She has been a teacher for 2 years, both years being in Fair Lawn.

Ms. Shannon was inspired by her high school English teacher and high school librarian to become an English teacher. When she took her first Spanish class in college, she was influenced to become a Spanish teacher. Although her first language is Spanish and speaks Spanish at home, her college class was the first time she felt challenged in a Spanish class. Her professor for her first Spanish class went on to become her academic and thesis advisor. She also served as a TA and Writing Fellow for multiple Spanish classes, which ultimately made her realize that she enjoyed and was good at teaching Spanish.

Ms. Shannon believes that a good day at school is when her students are happy, whether they show it through chatting as they enter class, are engaged with her lessons, or are ready to communicate with each other. She says that it boosts her morale to teach and only makes her more excited to do her job. Ms. Shannon also believes that one of the best things about being a teacher is her students and the greetings she gets from them. She is a big fan of communicating with her students, whether it relates to academics or something casual.

One thing that Ms. Shannon takes pride in so far this year is her students’ Día de Muertos altars. She is proud of her students for not only making the altars, but for working together and putting a lot of effort into them. She has noticed that students don’t often get to work together, and feels joyed when her students have the opportunity to work with each other.

When asked what she would do if she won the lottery and decided to give up teaching, she still chose to teach. But rather than continuing to teach in Fair Lawn High School, Ms. Shannon would want to teach at an outdoor preschool, like the ones that exist in Denmark. She thinks that outdoor schools are a very interesting concept and wants to have the experience of teaching at one. Also when asked which other teacher’s class she would like to enroll in, even  for a day, Ms. Shannon chose Madame Paleos’s class. Ms. Shannon explains that she felt like she should have taken French as a student, and that a lot of people would ask her why she did not take French. Not only for that reason, but because she also believes that it would be fun to be a student in Madame Paleos’s class.

 

Overall, Ms. Shannon’s pride in her students and her profession makes her a significant part of the Fair Lawn High School community. Her contribution to the Spanish language has left a lasting impact on her students, leaving them wanting to further pursue their learning with the language.

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