For Ciera Cornelison, a teacher at Glen Iris Elementary School, teaching has almost always been her dream job. She became a teacher for reasons similar to our other featured teachers: she has a passion for helping children grow.  

“I became a teacher to share my passions with students… I don't think there's anything better than learning and growing with students. “

One of the central ways that Ciera shares and connects with her students is through literature. An avid reader herself, reading is often how she nurtures her relationships, including those with her husband, family, and friends. She shares this passion with her students and encourages them to find books that spark their interest.

“My mission is to help students find at least one book that they love to read during the school year. My favorite teaching moments usually involve students telling me how much they loved a book!

Her dedication to reading is very much rooted in her belief that reading is an avenue through which to learn more about our world and the people in it, that it’s a tool for developing more caring and empathetic individuals.

Just like all teachers, Ciera’s work has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. She also knows that this is impacting everyone in the school community, including parents and students. For parents, she passed on this advice:

“My advice for parents who have students learning from this year is to be gentle with yourself and your learner. Learning from home is not going to mirror in-person school, and that's okay. Don't worry about your student "falling behind", just do your best to meet your child where they are. And please reach out to your child's teacher! We love hearing from parents, and we want to help in any way that we can. I know it's cliche, but we are all in this together.”

Like all of our features, Ciera provided us with great reading recommendations for elementary age students. Her top pick? Be You by Peter H. Reynolds!

“Be You is my top choice because of its message that everyone is special and unique. Back to school time can be a nerve-wracking time for both students and teachers (especially now), and this book is a reminder of the importance and value of everyone. It's a simple but encouraging message that is perfect for back to school.”

Thank you, Ciera, for leaving us such a beautiful message of kindness and hope, and for all that you do to instill a love of reading in your students!

To see reading recommendations from Ciera and other teachers for elementary age students, check out our list here!