Confidence leads to student success in Pearce Elementary 3rd Grade Class

Pearce Elementary 3rd grade teacher Ms. Alicia Pena believes empathy and encouragement lead to student success.

Ms. Alisia Pena is in her 15th year teaching at Southside ISD. She’s taught multiple grade levels, but found her sweet spot teaching third grade while preparing students for the STAAR exams. “You’re taking them from being little to that next step in life of having to be more responsible,” she said. Pearce Elementary principal Ms. Brenda Gonzales said Ms. Pena always does well no matter the grade level. “Alisia (Pena) gives 110 percent all the time. I put my own child in her class. She’s that good,” said the principal. A total of 30 students are in Ms. Pena’s third grade class. Her classroom management style focuses on empathy and encouragement. She’s well aware that it’s part of the psychology of human nature. “When someone tells us we did good, we automatically want to do better,” said the teacher. The data shows Ms. Pena’s students perform well in the state assessment tests. “I try to reach them at their level,” she said. Ms. Pena builds relationships with her students and parents. For her, the payoff is not just in successful STAAR scores, but hopefully building a foundation for a lifetime of success.