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July 23, 2019
 

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Erica Shadley: Ada schools have such positive energy!

"My students motivate me every day. They are my best teachers."

Compiled by Darlene Bowers
Welcome to the Ada Icon’s “Ada Teacher Feature.” Here we share thoughts and insights from local teachers who lift up and inspire our students. Let us lift up and inspire these educators as well. Today we meet Erica Shadley.

“I’ve never pictured myself doing anything else,” shares Erica Shadley about choosing a career in teaching. Read on to hear this 5th grade teacher’s advice to her students and who she wants them to be in the classroom. Hint: themselves with open minds and a readiness to learn!

What grade do you teach?
5th Grade ELA (English Language Arts).

What are your degrees?
• Horicon High School in Horicon, Wisconsin
• Undergrad in Elementary Education from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin
• Master's degree in Reading from University of Wisconsin - Concordia

How long have been been a teacher?
 13 years.

Why are you a teacher?  
My third grade teacher, Mary Ann Meyer, inspired me to become a teacher. She always made learning fun and enjoyable. I loved how comfortable I felt in her classroom each day. 

I have always loved school and learning. I think I learned a lot from [my] dad as well. He was always teaching my sister and I something, coaching basketball, and setting goals. 

I thrive on gaining new knowledge, setting goals, and helping others, and I knew that I wanted to share the love of education to younger generations like Mrs. Meyer did for me. School doesn't have to be mundane and lecture-like. Instead, it can be engaging, interactive, and informational all at the same time.

What motivates you?  
My students motivate me every day. They are my best teacher, and I learn something new every day. I taught 8th grade English for 13 years, so switching levels at this point in my career was definitely a challenge.  But that motivated me even more to learn something new and to become better at what I've loved my whole life, education.

What’s the best thing students can do for you?  
The best thing that students can do for me is to come to my class each day with an open mind and be ready to learn. Students should always know they can be themselves when they walk into my room.  

What’s the best thing parents and caregivers can do for you?  
The best thing is to frequently check in with their child about their schoolwork and grades. The support I can get from home can help out at school and will help the child succeed as well.

What makes Ada schools unique or different?  
Ada schools have such positive energy! I can't tell you how strongly I felt this when I walked into the building the first week of school. From the central office to the administration down to the custodial service, everyone is so willing to help and support each other. 

The staff here is unbelievable. Everyone works hard and has your back. It's truly a tight-knit family, and I love it! Everyone wants to succeed and help the other do better, and I love that kind of teamwork. 

I would definitely like to give a shout out to my teammates, Julie Burris, Bethany Daft, and Stephanie Koontz, for being such awesome collaborators! They have made me feel so welcome since day one. I am truly blessed!

Best or most memorable teaching moment?  
The best or most memorable teaching moment....Wow....that's a tough question.  I've had many wonderful teaching moments over the past 13 years. I know some of my favorite memories are when I was able to get to know my students outside of the classroom, especially when I took a field trip with my 8th graders to the Grand Canyon and Washington, D.C.  

What excites, interests and captivates you inside the classroom? 
The kids are what excites me the most inside the classroom. They always have a story or an experience to share, and I just love to hear what they have to say. I also love to laugh, so I can be goofy with the kids and they will be goofy back and we have a good laugh.    

What excites, interests and captivates you outside the classroom?  
My family is the most important thing outside of the classroom. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support of my family. I love being a mom to my 4-year-old son, Colton. He brings me pride and joy every day, and I love being with him when I'm not working. 

If you weren’t a teacher what would you be doing?  
Honestly, I have no clue what I would doing if I wasn't a teacher. I've never pictured myself doing anything else. I knew as a third grader that I wanted to be a teacher, and that's what I set out to do.

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