Shaquira Langley and Her Role as a Pre-K Teacher

Story by cnmAdmin2030 / February 12, 2020

“You have to have the ability to pick up and be able to keep going. Most of all, you have to have the passion for the job.”

Growing up in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Shaquira Langley is a South Carolina native who joined the MSE@Brentwood team a year ago as a Pre-K teacher. With over five years of experience in the teaching field, Shaquira has learned a few tips, tricks, and secrets to being a successful educator in a Pre-K setting on her journey. From growing students’ brains to being willing to make all the funny noises, she knows what it takes. Find out by reading the interview with Shaquira below!

MSS puts a lot of emphasis on an early start for students. In your role as a Pre-K Teacher at MSS, what is unique about the Pre-K setting?

I think our curriculum setup is unique. From day one, we are setting up our kids to grow in not only their academics but as people. That’s the biggest piece and our curriculum allows us to do both.

What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?

I would say organization skills, patience, knowing every child is not the same, and a lot of other necessary skills. It’s important to get to know each and every student and how they work. The position also requires a lot of planning because if one thing does not work, you have to go back to the drawing board and get creative. You can’t be afraid to be silly and look crazy; a lot of days you’re making funny noises. Flexibility is also important, anything can happen and throw you off. You have to have the ability to pick up and be able to keep going. Most of all, you have to have a passion for the job.

Tell me about the parts of your role that you find most challenging.

It can get a little bit repetitive because the kids need so much structure. But if you go off your day-to-day routine, then it can throw them off. You have to follow the structure for the sake of your kids. You have to learn to have fun in the middle of the routine, which can be challenging as an adult.

Tell me about the parts of your role that you find most enjoyable.

There’s lots of love and hugs. If you’re having a bad day, you can always get a hug. I think the most enjoyable part, though, is seeing the students grow. Their little personalities come out and develop over time.

What advice would you give to people who are unsure if they want to pursue a career as a Pre-K teacher?

First, observe a Pre-K classroom to see what it is from beginning to end, and then figure out your personal qualities. Do you have the energy to keep up with the kids? It can be very consuming. You can get burnt out easily. Most importantly, question if you have a passion for early childhood. It’s a lot more than people think, so evaluate if you have the characteristics to teach early childhood successfully.

What are your teaching goals for the new year?

We made a goal to get our students to meet their individual goals. It’s important to make sure all our students are moving at their own pace, but being pushed to ensure they are continuing to grow. We want our students to hit some of those kindergarten goals before they get there.

What advice do you have for new teachers entering the profession?

I would tell them to figure out what’s best for them and their classroom. You have to figure out how to have a work-life balance and to know your kids. If you’re enjoying it, then your students are enjoying it. Make sure they are enjoying the work and not feeling like they are just meeting a certain deadline, and learn how to have fun at the moment.

 

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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

News & NotesFrom Clemson University to Master Teacher and Player Coach: Emily Godwin

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.

CommunityVoices

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“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent

  • 2/3

“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent

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“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher