Transitioning a student from kindergarten to first grade should not be taken lightly. It is a pivotal right of passage for so many six-year-olds as they genuinely begin to establish their independence and individuality. There is no better teacher for many Ashford Elementary parents to handle this critical milestone than Mrs. Hope Shirah.
“This is my 6th year teaching, and I have taught first grade for all six years,” said Mrs. Shirah, our Wiregrass Parents Teacher of the Month. She was nominated by Kathy Mathis, who described Mrs. Shirah as a godsend for her grandson.
Mrs. Shirah received her degree in Elementary Education from Troy Dothan in 2016 and plans to continue teaching first grade for as long as pos-sible. She thoroughly enjoys teaching younger kids and working with her first-grade team at Ashford Elementary. The first-grade teachers have a great support system and work very well together.
“I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. My sister and I would play school every afternoon,” Mrs. Shirah shared. “I started going to college to be a teacher but changed degrees several times for various reasons. After getting an associate’s degree, I stayed home and raised my kids until the baby started school. Then I realized I still desired to be a teacher, so I returned to school and completed my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.”
Essential qualities for a first-grade teacher consist of patience, flexibility, and, well, loads more patience, according to Mrs. Shirah. She works hard to keep kids engaged and having fun! It is essential to her that students know they are loved and that she will always be there for them, even after they leave her classroom.
“I am so honored to be nominated for teacher of the month by one of my student’s parents,” said Mrs. Shirah. “This is a great encouragement that I am indeed doing what I am called to do.”
Mrs. Shirah says she desires new teachers coming into the field to know how important it is that they are their students’ biggest cheerleaders for that year.
“Get to know your students and teach them, don’t just teach a program,” shared Mrs. Shirah. “Seeing kids you have taught go on to be great students who enjoy learning while also becoming great people is most rewarding.”
Hope Shirah has been married to Brandon for 17 years and they have four amazing children: Branson (16), Landon (14), Caydon (13) and Katie Grace (11). She enjoys going to the beach and the lake, spending time with family, shopping and watching her kids play sports.