Teacher Spotlight: Meet Ellen Ferrier, sixth-grade ELA/social studies teacher

Teacher spotlight artworkteacher with studentsMeet Ellen Ferrier,  sixth-grade ELA/social studies teacher!

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?

These are a few of my favorite things…eyes that light up with new knowledge, laughter in reaction to a character’s words, new friendships kindling, students brainstorming possibilities, and welcoming my class each morning with songs from the ’70s and ’80s.

Teaching has never been my job; it is a gift I receive each day. Every September I have the wonderful opportunity to start anew as I greet, embrace, and then cherish each unique student who comes through my classroom door. After 31 years of teaching, I still look forward to meeting with my students each and every day. Whether we are discussing a novel to make plot predictions, discovering the outcome of a cliffhanger, or connecting the text to our own lives, we are constantly learning about the world and one another.

Although I am a mother of three, when someone asks me, “How are your children doing?” my answer is often, “Which ones?”  I am truly blessed to be in a profession where I receive as much love as I give. My heart is full.

Why do you believe in and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District and what it does for the community?

The Minisink Valley School District is the center of our community. We work as a team to nurture and prepare our children to be productive citizens with good character.

As a teacher, community member, and parent in this district, I have witnessed the impact of our mission on many levels. It is here that our students grow socially, emotionally, and academically. It is here that we encourage them to inquire, ponder, and create. We do not work alone; we are partners with our students, their families and our neighbors. Just take a moment to look at our website to see the many accomplishments and highlights of Minisink’s past and present scholars in all areas of academic and extracurricular activities.

How has this pandemic refocused the work you do every day?

Teaching during the pandemic has reinforced the importance of collaboration and adaptation in planning and learning. It takes a great deal of time and energy to develop lessons that stimulate creative thinking and also function in the virtual platform.

I am fortunate to work with a team of teachers who collaborate together seamlessly to create these dynamic lessons. Each day our goal is to inspire thinking and a love of learning. I count on feedback from my students and parents to grow as a teacher in this unique world. In turn, I expect my students to put forth their best effort.

What do you want to say directly to the community about the importance of your work?  

As my teaching career comes to an end, I know I will continue to be an agent of change and growth as my former students make their presence felt in our community and world.  As a member of the Minisink family, I have flourished as an educator and will treasure each moment and relationship forged. Most importantly, I was able to positively affect a large number of students. Throughout the years, my goal has been to work diligently each day to improve the lives of those I come in contact with and to make my classroom a warm, safe learning environment. It is my hope that I was also inspiring along the way.