Meet the teacher: Corey Sheets, Sam Adams Elementary School

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name:  Corey Sheets

School: Sam Adams Elementary School

Grade/subjecttaught: Kindergarten

Where did you attend college? Indiana University South Bend, Bethel College

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? This is my third year teaching and this is my first year at Sam Adams Elementary School.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I decided to become a teacher to help the future. I love that educators are the role models of the youth and represent the meaning of learning. I loved college and growing my knowledge and I wanted to bring that passion of learning to my classroom.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? I live on a small farm and enjoy being outside doing anything. I really enjoy traveling with my family and experiencing life in different cities and parts of the country.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? I served in the U.S. Coast Guard for eight years and was a federal law enforcement officer. My first duty station was in Honolulu, Hawaii. I have traveled across the Pacific Ocean to many different islands such as Guam, Marshall Islands, Midway, Johnston Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Laysan, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, and many of the Hawaiian Islands.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? My favorite fictional character is Pete the Cat. I love how his books are written in a way that allows young students to learn. Pete always has fun and no matter what, he never gets down. He finds the good in all situations. 

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies?  When I was a kindergarten student, I played baseball and basketball. I enjoyed pick-up games of any sport with the local neighborhood kids.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? My co-workers would describe me as someone who would do almost anything if you ask. My teaching style would be described as a mix between coaching and facilitating. I like to let the students drive a lot of their learning, controlling where they are going, which is a facilitator, but I really enjoy coaching them on the way. They complement each other in teaching styles.

Who is your biggest role model and why? My biggest role model is my kindergarten team. I learn so much from them and from their experiences that it helps me grow not only as an educator but as a person. They have many different skills sets because what and who they have taught, this allows them to show me different perspectives and different ways to handle situations or teach lessons.

How has education changed in the last 10 years? Education in the last 10 years has changed how schools effectively teach the information. There are many different schools now that students have choices of ways to learn. There are schools that are dedicated to project-based learning and others that structure themselves on STEAM or STEM. This allows many choices for students and parents.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Read to your student. The research suggests students achieve higher with a higher academic vocabulary. This also will show the student how important reading is.

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is… that learning is fun. It may take work, it may take practice, but with both of those success is achievable. 

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