Lower School Boys Teacher, Second Grade.
Ellen graduated from Springside School in 1988 and started teaching at SCH Academy in 2005.
What attracted you to teach at SCH?
Teaching has always been my passion. During college I was strongly encouraged by my family to go into business. So I went into business consulting and spent 15 years teaching adults in many different capacities. I taught adults how to use the computer software essential for running their businesses, I analyzed their training needs, and both wrote and delivered training materials. I feel like I got around the “push” to go into business by going into the training field. Over time I realized my real love was training and teaching rather than the world of business.
I also realized I felt a greater sense of fulfillment teaching children than adults. I believe if you can find a job that you are passionate about, then you will love waking up each and every day. I changed careers and went back to get my master’s in education and started teaching at SCH in Pre-Kindergarten. It was the best decision I ever made. I love being back at my alma mater where I get the pleasure of teaching boys each day. I started working at SCH the same year my son Andy (‘19) started in Kindergarten. It was a first for the both of us. Andy is the fourth generation of Pearson men to attend CHA. Boy, would my father (Corning Pearson Jr. ‘59) and grandfather (Corning Pearson ‘30) be thrilled that the generations continue to attend and work at CHA/SCH.
What part of SCH’s mission or values is most meaningful to you as a teacher?
Lower School for Boys has been teaching about the Jersey Stripes for as long as I can remember. Those five stripes, now incorporated into our school values, have been the focus of our social and emotional curriculum for years. These stripes keep the focus of education on the most important part of our day as teachers—the teachable moments. We apply the Jersey Stripes to not only the social and emotional parts of our students but the academic pieces as well. Courage, resilience, thoughtfulness, diversity, and integrity are at the heart of what we do each and every day, for each and every boy.
What do you enjoy most about teaching and why?
The best part of my day is the moment each student walks through my door. They have a smile on their face, they say good morning to me and their classmates, and get started on their morning work. As a teacher, when students come into a classroom and can show the independence and confidence we have instilled in them from an early age, I know we have done our job.
Is there some object in your office or on your desk that has special significance to you?
I have many objects in my classroom that make me feel good and keep me centered. I have Groot and Slinky Dog due to my Marvel and Disney love, gifts from students and artwork done by my daughter. But the one that is most relevant to school is an award that the Lower School for Boys achieved from Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry. I am most proud of Lower School for Boys for the level of commitment, teamwork, and overall compassion shown to help our local community and cupboard. These boys are passionate about collecting cans of food and feeding their neighbors. Watching them organize our shelves of food, bag up the food, and carry the bags into waiting cars is a most wonderful sight for everyone in our community. The thoughtfulness and resilience these boys show is astounding. They love hearing “Neighbors helping neighbors.” Having them understand that there are hungry people all over the world and that they can make a difference is something that we strive to teach to all our students each and every day.