Shannon Davis

School didn’t always come easily for Shannon Davis. But the challenges she faced as a student helped her realize her calling as a teacher.

“I remember my struggles as a student,” Ms. Davis says, “I want to help students who have the same struggles as I did growing up.”

Sometimes that means doing things differently than what she was taught in school. Recently, the school where she teaches started using Eureka math, a different method than the way she was taught math in school. Initially, she struggled with teaching the new material.

“But I have to remember this is not for me,” she says, “After teaching the first module, my students have multiple strategies and ways of understanding numbers. This is going to help them become great math problem-solvers.”

Being adaptable is a regular part of her job as a teacher. And as each year brings new things, Ms. Davis tries to consider and evaluate the changes based on how they impact her students.

“Last year, I was asked to co-teach because our numbers were not high in second grade. I did not want to have another teacher invade my space in my classroom,” she says. “But after a month, I realized it was for the well-being of the students.”

It turned out that by sharing the class with the other teacher, Ms. Davis could strategically focus her attention on one subject by splitting the content with her co-teacher. Her expertise and instructional ability grew in that subject, and after some time, Ms. Davis and her co-teacher were working well as a team in the classroom.

By embracing the challenge of teaching a new curriculum and collaborating with another teacher, Ms. Davis not only grew as a teacher and leader at her school, but she continues to remain focused on her students and their success in her classroom.

Bio: Shannon Davis has been teaching since 2005. She received her master’s degree in elementary education from Freed-Hardeman University and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys shopping at Target, attending her son’s football games, going to hip-hop classes, and spending time with her husband. Follow her on Twitter at @eulanda1973.

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The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the goal that every student in Tennessee graduates from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the work force. SCORE was founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD, and it drives collaboration across the state on policy and practice to ensure student success. We believe that we can achieve our goals for Tennessee’s students by empowering people to lead change on behalf of students, insisting on high expectations for what students can achieve, and fostering a culture of innovation.

The SCORE Sheet is the online conversation on public education reform in Tennessee and is hosted by SCORE. The blog mirrors SCORE’s collaborative nature and features contributors from Tennessee and across the country including students, parents, teachers, policymakers, community groups, and members of SCORE’s team. Regardless of perspective, contributors share a common goal: that every child graduates from high school prepared for college or the workforce.

Posts on The SCORE Sheet are the opinions of the individual contributors and are not necessarily reflective of the opinions and positions of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).