Wendi Wence has been a High/Middle School Teacher with the Transitions Mental Health Program for Adolescents in Cherry Hill for two school years however, her teaching experience spans a lot longer. Get to know more about Mrs. Wence’s journey to teaching, what inspires her, and why she loves working with Transitions students in her blog post below.
This will mark my 23rd year of teaching, and my second year in the Transitions program. I came to teaching more by chance than anything else. My first job was in a daycare, and I found I worked really well with kids. After that, I did some volunteering at the local elementary school in college teaching French, and decided I would go into the profession.
I took time off from full-time teaching to raise my 3 boys and that’s how I got most of my experience in alternative placement settings. I worked for 3 years at an adult high school and 7 years in online homebound instruction. But, in actuality, most of my experience has been with struggling students. I discovered very early on that I could use conventional methods and continue to be frustrated by the lack of results, or I could step outside the box and try to use different practices that better suited my population of students.
I found that students often have a hard time trusting teachers and struggle with self-confidence; therefore, my priorities have always been to build meaningful and authentic relationships and to create a risk-free learning environment where students aren’t penalized for making mistakes. I think my favorite thing about working in the Transitions program is that the entire staff holds these same beliefs and students’ social and emotional well-being is at the forefront of their learning. It creates an environment where we get to see these amazing transformations, sometimes in as little as a few months, where students realize their true potential. We have so much talent and empathy housed in this program and I’m so proud to be a part of their journey.
Throughout her time with the program, Mrs. Wence has implemented and created a library for students to enjoy, as well as other initiatives to help them grow and gain hands-on experience, in order to better prepare them for their future endeavors.