Teacher Spotlight at Sayre High

At William L. Sayre High School, there are a variety of exceptional administrators and staff. One of these extraordinary educators is Dr. Andrew Schiera.

Dr. Schiera went to University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate education and majored in History, then went to graduate school for History as well. However, he later realized that he loved teaching, and went back for a Masters in Teaching Education. Before he came to Sayre, he worked at University City High School for three years where he taught Social Studies. When UCHS was recommended for closure and they lost by a 3 to 2 vote, Dr. Schiera was out out of a job. That summer, he taught at a bridge program called Leaders of Change College Bridge, which prompted Sayre students to talk about these teachers that pushed them to their limits, including Dr. Schiera and Ms. Jada Warfield.

Dr. Schiera has been with the Sayre family for three years since the fall of 2016. At Sayre, Dr. Schiera has an abundance of responsibilities, such as teaching AP Government, Psychology and a Foundation of Education course with Penn Undergrads, serving as the Roster Chairman, as well as teaching a course at UPenn.

Dr. Schiera 3

“Teaching at a University is different.” Dr. Schiera observed.  “I’m teaching future teachers. Not the same as being in a school, with teenagers who are excited about what they’ll do next, and it’s a different feeling. There is tension between what feels as though I’m making an impact with the skills I have, and the skills I want to learn. There is nothing like building a relationship with students and being able to connect it with their lives. In a perfect world, I would like to teach high schoolers in the morning, and future teachers in the afternoon. I would like to create a program like this to do it in a way where the university does not take over, letting teachers do it their way and use their opinions. Institutional factors in schools and work that keep them in separate worlds… PD school that tries to do it that way.. Out there somewhere.”

Even though he has so much on his plate already, he has thought about becoming a principal. When it was time to put in his application, he applied too late, and the applicant poll was full. He had to ask himself if he wanted to be a principal, and the answer was no.

“The needs to be able to be a principal in the Philadelphia School District, make me not envision myself in that role. Being a teacher is something special for me to leave. There was a brief flicker of a moment where I thought about being a principal. It was so easy for schools to be ran, and I appreciate the leadership here and my colleagues. It’s easy to listen to students and build from there. My goal is to keep doing that, and I see a renewed energy in those students. That’s something you lose if you leave. As Forest Gump said, That’s all I have to say about that.”

We appreciate all the hard work that Dr. Schiera puts into his classes and for his students. We love collaborating with him on class assignments, college trips and after school activities!! Thank you Dr. Schiera!!!

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