Friday, June 29, 2018

Faculty spotlight on Hannah Bernier by Matt Pascarella

Hannah Bernier, a first-grade teacher at Windham Primary School (WPS), is a 2002 graduate from Windham High School (WHS). She knew she wanted to become a teacher since she was a young student in early elementary school.

During one challenging year, she and one of her teachers didn’t see eye-to-eye and Bernier felt she had no connection with that teacher. As a result of that one experience, it became a very important concept to Bernier to connect with her students. “I saw what I liked and found challenging as a student and decided I wanted to teach to try and create the best possible environment I could for my own individual students.”

For this reason, along with her love of learning and teaching, Bernier graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2006 from the University of Maine at Orono.

Shortly after college, Bernier became an Educational Technician at Wentworth Intermediate School in Scarborough. From there, she taught kindergarten in Poland, ME from 2007-2009.

Hannah Bernier
After two-years in that position, Bernier decided to teach seventh and eighth grades at Whittier Middle School, also in Poland. With that experience, Bernier discovered that teaching younger students was what she was meant to do and decided to accept a position at the Windham Primary School as a kindergarten teacher in 2011. She taught that grade level for five years before entering into her current position of teaching first grade.

The variety of experiences in teaching different age levels has helped her become who she is as a professional. It gives her a lot of perspective on how to teach.

Seeing students gain confidence in themselves is her favorite thing about teaching. “If a student is confident…they are willing to try,” she explains. That “lightbulb” moment means a student is learning and can continue to excel. There’s never a limit to learning and how far a student can take themselves. In her classroom, there is no “can’t” - it is “I can’t yet.”

Bernier lives in Windham with her husband, Matt, also a 2002 WHS graduate. They have two children Isaac and Amya. She enjoys spending time with her family and spending summers on the lake.

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