Elisa Peña

Third Grade Teacher

Name: Elisa Peña

Education:   BA-Elementary Education, Northeastern Illinois University
                    Master certification Middle Childhood Literacy

Born and raised: Chicago, IL

Position and Start Year at IAMS: Third Grade Teacher, 2006

Why are you in education?  I am in education because I believe that one never stops learning. As an educator, it is wonderful to continue learning along side my students as well as my colleagues. To have this opportunity and collaboratively work for the benefit of the students is the reason why I went into teaching.

What are your hobbies and interests?
My hobbies and interest include: listening to music, soccer, creating crafts and cooking.

What was the last good book you read?
My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to the Savannah by: Robin Wiszowaty

What are your guiding principles?
My guiding principles are:

  • Life is as simple or as complicated as we make it.
  • Be yourself.
  • Treat others as you want to be treated.
  • Challenges allow for learning, growth and change.

What are the traits you admire most in others?
Self determination and honesty.

What profession, other than education, could you also see yourself doing?
  If I were not in teaching, I would be a nurse. I initially started taking courses for cardiology and later became certified as a cardiology technician.

Who has been the largest influence on your life? My largest influence has been my family. Growing up my mother and father always taught me the importance of work ethic, being on time, giving all effort necessary to complete a task, which has helped me in my academic career, teaching career and all experiences that I have encountered.

 What do you think is the greatest benefit of being bilingual? The benefits of being bilingual are many but I have been amazed at how bilingualism offers an access and exposure to different cultures. It gives a deeper knowledge of different ideas and traditions. Being bilingual helps improve the ways of thinking and interacting in today’s world.