Coady Sierra has once again found herself in the halls of City High, this time returning as an alumnus to teach history with dedication and passion.
“I am a special education teacher,” Sierra said. “I teach three periods of learning support and then I co-teach a world history class with Mrs. Dickson and a government class with Mr. Burkle.”
Before her hiring at City High, Sierra had taught at two different schools. Recently transferring from Woodward Academy, this is her third year of teaching.
“[I’ve been teaching] two years prior,” Sierra said. “I worked at Davenport West for a year and then I worked at a Juvenile Placement Center called Woodward Academy for a year.”
Sierra had found a great passion in choir and show choir at City High. Her Allstate directors, as well as Mr. Grove, served as role models for her when she was a student. While attending the college of music, she discovered that she had an even stronger connection with history. She subsequently switched to history and has been following her passion ever since.
“What inspired me to go into teaching was actually my sophomore year. I had made it into Allstate choir and the choir director; he was just really influential and was the reason I had wanted to be a choir teacher,” Sierra said. “I was originally going to school to be a choir director and I ended up not and going into history and teaching, but he was the main reason I wanted to be a teacher.”
With every new teacher come new boundaries and hardships they must face as they acclimate to their new schools. Sierra was no exception. Having taught at two very different schools the past two years, it has not been easy for her to adjust to the new beat of City High.
“The largest barrier here is kinda getting into the rhythm of everyone else, and seeing what everyone does, and their routine because it’s going to be different than what mine was, and it’s definitely going to be different than a juvenile placement center,” Sierra said.
To help overcome the barriers that stand in her way, Sierra has realized some of her weaker skills and has laid out multiple goals and strategies that will improve them throughout the year. She has also made it her mission to make sure that every senior she teaches will graduate this year.
“I hope to learn- how to manage everything, like manag[ing] my students, manag[ing] co-teaching two different classes and just managing and balancing life at City High,” Sierra said. “The main goal that I have set for myself is that every kid who is a senior in my classes are going to graduate.”
Despite her intense commitment to her continued schooling and her students, Sierra still tries to find time to enjoy herself.
“I am a runner, but I was injured so I am getting back into it, I like to do a lot of reading, and I am a big traveler,” Sierra said. “But I do have grad school, however, so I have unfortunately lost a lot of my freedoms.”
A sudden dynamic shift from student to teacher caught Sierra off guard during the first couple of weeks, but it eventually became an encouragement as all of the teachers have supported her with open arms.
“At first it was kind of weird, like calling [other teachers] by their first names,” Sierra said. “But it is good now, and they are all really supportive, and they will ask me how I am doing even if they weren’t my teacher they still remember me.”