Shaina Neal

Shaina Neal

Job Title
Eighth Grade Math Teacher
Company
Valdosta City School District, GA
University
Berea College
Arizona State University
Corps Year: 
2007
Corps Region: 
Phoenix

Career Path

Early Influences
In 8th grade Shaina moved to North Carolina from the Bronx and was put on a low academic track. But she showed promise and was moved up. This inspired her to help others realize their potential.
Teach For America: Phoenix Corps
Shaina taught 7th and 8th grade Math, Algebra, and Pre-Algebra. She also helped students with writing, worked on the school newspaper, and served as a cheerleading coach.
English Teacher, Cheongju English Center
Shaina taught English Language for 90 students in Korea. She created an entirely new curriculum and implemented 10 different situational classes that aided language acquisition.
English Instructor, Pueblo Inglés - Diverbo
Shaina helped professionals in Madrid, Spain increase language skills through the use of conversational and professional English.
Math Teacher: Valdosta City Schools, Georgia
Shaina currently teaches eighth grade math, serves as Choir Director, and created and leads the Multicultural Club.

Q & A

Q
What is your most memorable experience from teaching in the corps?
A

One of my first students was in a gang. He was always using gang signs and was on track to be suspended. I chose to give him affection, to hug him, pinch his cheeks. You could see he just needed those things. Four years later he found me on Facebook to tell me he graduated.

Q
How did your corps experience influence your career path?
A

I thought teaching was going to be a stop-over to doing something else. But my calling is to invest and motivate students. I taught at my TFA school for three years, then easily got into a teaching abroad program because I was TFA. I’ve been able to connect with and help so many people. Now I’m settled in Georgia, making an impact there.

Q
What are the most important skills you learned in the corps?
A

Institute really set me up for anything. Learning how to backwards plan, to set a big goal and develop a plan to get there. And knowing how to apply strong principles of teaching and also be myself, and utilize my natural strengths to connect with, motivate, and invest people.

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