Teacher Feature

TEACHER FEATURE: Sonia Flannory

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Degrees and Certifications:

Sonia Flannory

Job Title:  ENL Teacher (k-12)
Denzel Washington School of the Arts
Number of Years in the District: 3

Name of College(s) and Degrees Held:
Bronx Community College, Associate in Science: Community School/ Health Education, 2006
Hunter College, Bachelor of Arts, 2008
Jones International University, Master of Education, English as a Second Language, 2013 
 

What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in your years of teaching?
The biggest lesson I have learned in my years of teaching is to be flexible. Growing up, my family placed a heavy emphasis on following the rules at home and at school. The pressure that I felt daily was immense. We do not know what baggage children and adults have when they walk through the doors of our school. Therefore, we must always assume positive intentions and adjust situations as they present themselves. Over the years, I have learned that everyone is unique, and every situation is different.  We must meet students, or anyone in life, where they are and move forward from that point. We must be flexible.

What lesson(s) or values do you strive to teach your students?
The most important lesson that I teach my students is to be true to yourself. If you are true to yourself, you cannot be stopped. Oftentimes, my students find themselves worried about how they will be perceived by others, which is common among ENL students. I work to ensure that they know mistakes are common and if they are true to themselves and open about their mistakes, they can conquer any obstacle that stands in their way. There are always resources and people to help, but you must know when to ask. If you make mistakes, own up to them and use them as stepping stones to learn and grow as individuals.

What aspect of your job inspires you the most and why?
The aspect of my job that inspires me the most is when students who struggle, succeed. It is incredibly satisfying to see the look on a student's face and the boost of confidence that success can provide. Working with ENL students has afforded me the opportunity to really get to know my students as individuals. I work with them for multiple years and get to witness firsthand the growth and maturity each child displays as they develop. Nothing compares to helping a student set a goal and work to achieve that goal. That feeling will never get old. Each day, I strive to be better to help the young people I service. Each day, I strive to help more students achieve the greatness they hold inside themselves. 

What do you love most about your role within the Mount Vernon City School District and why?
The thing I love most about my role within the Mount Vernon City School District is the work I do with my students. I know that the students I work with daily will soon become the leaders of our community. That reality inspires me to work harder for them. I know that the knowledge and skills they develop here will directly impact Mt. Vernon community overall. The work teachers do is so important, but as a resident of the Mt. Vernon community myself I know that the work the teachers in Mt. Vernon do is even more important. I must do all that I can to help improve our shared community.