Educator of the Week: Alicia Shoup | Moncure School

Posted 11/8/19

Grades taught: 6th, 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts

E-mail address:

Date, place of birth: March 22, 1982, in Elmira, New York

Education: Southside High …

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Educator of the Week: Alicia Shoup | Moncure School

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Grades taught: 6th, 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts

E-mail address:

Date, place of birth: March 22, 1982, in Elmira, New York

Education: Southside High School in Elmira; SUNY Geneseo for undergraduate, with bachelor’s of science in education with a dual certification in elementary and special education. Graduate: UNC-Greensboro, master’s degree in literacy

Brief work history: This is my 16th year teaching. All 16 have been in Chatham County Schools. My first 11 were spent at Chatham Middle. I initially taught 5th grade language arts (LA) until Virginia Cross was built and 5th grade was moving into the elementary building. I decided to move up into the middle school and taught 6th grade LA and science. I transferred to Moncure in 2015 when my daughter began Pre-K to work closer to home. I taught 5th grade my first year at Moncure and moved up into the middle school where I’ve been since.

Teaching honors/awards: Chatham County Schools Teacher of the Year 2010, Chatham County Schools STAR award 2011, National Board Certified Teacher in literacy 2012, Chatham County Schools Teacher of the Year, 2019

Hobbies/interests outside teaching: I enjoy reading, running, travelling with my daughter, going to musicals/plays,

Family: I have a daughter, Madeline, in the 3rd grade

What led you to a career as a teacher?: I wanted to be a teacher as early as kindergarten. I may have changed my mind a few times but, ultimately, through volunteer opportunities in high school, I realized it was a career I would love.

Who were your favorite teachers as you went through school, and what did you learn from them?: My favorite teachers were my kindergarten teacher and my English teachers (middle school and high school). I was an avid reader growing up and, so, naturally I felt more successful in English class, and I connected with the content more.

Has becoming a teacher been all you expected it would be?: It has, it continues to be rewarding and challenging daily.

How has teaching changed since you were a student?: Very much so; when I was in school it was almost all direct instruction.

What “makes your day” as a teacher?: When my students seek me out to say “good morning” to start their day.

What’s working in schools today?: We are taking the time to discuss every student’s strengths and deficits both academically and emotionally through MTSS to help all students grow and be successful in school.

What’s not working?: The expectations placed on teachers to do more with less. Funding for schools needs to be increased. Programs need to be added to help students experiencing poverty.

What’s your favorite memory of your first year as a teacher?: My mentor Judy Morris, explaining everything I need to do with a smile and always encouraged and praised me as a first-year teacher.

How would your “teacher” persona handle you as a student?: I was fairly quiet and well-behaved in school, so my teaching persona would have had no major clashes with me as a student.

Best piece of advice for other teachers?: Get to know your students as individuals to help connect to them in the classroom.

For students?: Be kind to everyone and try your best every day.

For parents?: Read with your children every single day! Treat reading as an opportunity for something to do together instead of as a punishment.

If you were superintendent for a day, you’d: I’d do a school tour, visit as many classrooms as I could and show my support for all the teachers.

What about your job would surprise your non-teaching friends the most?: The amount of work we bring home at nights, on weekends and during the summer. Most non-teaching friends think we check out at 3:00 daily and don’t work at all during summers.

If you could somehow magically instill one truth into the heads of your students, what would it be?: Surround yourself with positive thinkers and hard workers.

When you think about today’s kids, you: I think about the increased pressures and exposures they have that weren’t around when I was growing up, and how that impacts what I see in the classroom.

If one of your students was asked for a one-word description of you by a student who hadn’t had you in class, what would that one word be?: Strict.

Favorite movie about school or teaching: “Dead Poets Society”

How would you summarize your teaching philosophy?: My shortened teaching philosophy is that we are all always learning every day. Every student should expect to learn something new or try a new strategy every day, and I should be continually learning and pushing myself to try something new with my students to help them be successful in the classroom.

What five things must every teacher know?: 1. You are making a difference, even if it isn’t showing today. 2. You need a work/family balance. 3. Ask for help when you need it. 4. Planning is key, take the time to plan well and plan extra. 5. Where the staff coffee maker is.

What’s special about your classroom?: I have flexible learning spaces, student work proudly displayed and comfortable spaces for reading.

What’s special about your school?: The teachers and staff at Moncure are more like a family than coworkers. We all take care of and support each other. Not only do I love being a part of the teaching staff but also feel fortunate to have my daughter raised in a small school community.

The most unusual question you’ve ever gotten from a student?: On discussing plans to go to the beach for a holiday weekend, “Whoa, wait.. Do teachers ACTUALLY wear bathing suits at the beach?!”


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