In the summer of 2022, Yanique Sears began her first year as a Teacher Fellow in the Alliance for Decision Education Teacher Fellowship. As a certified special education STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teacher at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, Sears noted that the pandemic significantly affected her students. She applied to the Alliance’s professional learning initiative because she was interested in exploring how Decision Education could support her students holistically as well as improve her own decision-making.
“After the pandemic, I felt that my students weren’t where they should be academically, emotionally, and socially,” Sears said. “The opportunity to participate in the Decision Education Teacher Fellowship was a great chance to acquire new approaches to further motivate my students and equip them with the tools to make better decisions.”
Sears firmly believes that her participation in the Decision Education Teacher Fellowship has made her a better teacher. She reports that she has become more effective at showing her students how their decisions influence the trajectory of their lives. She also noticed that the Decision Education lessons she implemented improved her students’ schoolwork and boosted their confidence and engagement.
“The students I work with are highly academically skilled, but when it comes to things outside of the classroom, they tend to struggle a bit and are usually very reserved,” Sears said. “After sharing these decision-making tools and discussing the subject with them, I’ve seen students open up more and ask to talk through some of the decisions they are facing in their lives. It has been gratifying to witness their growth throughout the year.”
This growth doesn’t stop with her students; Sears acknowledges that what she has learned as a Decision Education Teacher Fellow has significantly impacted her on a personal level as well.
“It has prompted me to reflect more on why I do the things I do and make the decisions I make. It has also made me consider what I look for as a teacher, as a mom, and as a wife. I’ve been using many of the concepts and approaches in the curriculum to assist me in making decisions.”
In order to build on the positive impact in her life and in her classroom, Sears chose to continue with a second year of the Alliance Teacher Fellowship to deepen her knowledge and understanding of Decision Education. Additionally, she has transitioned to teaching in a new school, where she plans to continue teaching and advocating for Decision Education and sharing the benefits of participating in the Teacher Fellowship.
We are proud to support Yanique in her work empowering students with essential decision-making skills and dispositions. This school year, we are excited to see how she incorporates Decision Education into her classroom as a Decision Education Teacher Fellow!
Read more about our Decision Education Teacher Fellowship Program.