Meet Shannon Peterson, Horry County District Teacher of the Year

Today’s #teacherhero is Shannon Peterson, who teaches pre-school special education at Ocean Bay Elementary in Horry County. Thank you for your passion for learning and teaching, Shannon!

“I knew by the age of 7 or 8 that I wanted to teach. All I wanted to do was play ‘school,’ and I begged my parents to buy me ‘teacher glasses.’ I did not know I wanted to work in special education until I was in high school, when my mom began working with a young boy with autism. I was fascinated with how he processed information, communicated, and related to others. I wanted to learn more. I haven’t stopped learning since…and I hope to never stop!

Morning arrival is a wonderful time in our classroom. While I am busy with last minute prep work, emails, and daily set up, I can spend individual moments with each child to offer confidence boosts and high fives. Words of encouragement to set the stage for a successful and positive learning experience. Though it is not a long span of time, it is a daily opportunity to build relationships with my students, which I believe is the foundation for learner success.

It may sound cliché, but teaching really IS such a rewarding profession. We are lifelong learners alongside our students. They teach us the things that we cannot possibly get from a class or a book. It is a profession where we learn just as much from our students as they learn from us. You are a celebrity in the eyes of your students. YOU get to choose how to use your ‘fame’ to influence and inspire young learners every day!”

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