Follow Sarah on Twitter: @yaloveblog
How long have you been teaching?I'm finishing my 6th year.
What initially drew you to a career in education?My parents told me that I should be a teacher for a variety of reasons, but I didn't really think it was for me. I wanted to be a journalist or a psychologist for a long period of time. In tenth grade we were reading Julius Caesar and I was one of the few students in class who actually understood what was happening, so I ended up helping quite a few of my classmates. They ended up understanding the play with my help, and I started thinking that maybe I could be an English teacher. It was during my senior year when I took both AP English and 12th grade honors English at the same time that I really realized that I wanted to be a teacher. I loved English and wanted to be like my teacher, Mrs. Spear.
What motivates you as a teacher?
What has been your best classroom memory thus far?I don't think I have one classroom memory that stands out as the best. I appreciate little moments like when a student tells me all about a book he/she just read. One of my students this year read Between Shades of Gray for the umpteenth time and then read Out of the Easy. She couldn't stop raving about them, so I told her she should contact Ruta Sepetys via Facebook or something. She did, and when Ruta replied my student was over the moon. She came into school practically in tears she was so excited. It's moments like those that stay with me for a long time.
What do you want the future of education to look like?I'd love to see teachers get their autonomy back. I'd love to see students reading a balance of YA and the classics. I'd really love to see our students offered more choice in general. And most importantly--I would love to see less standardized teaching and testing.
What makes you stay in the classroom?I stay in the classroom because of my students. I'm a passionate teacher and it's contagious (in the best kind of way). I want to mold my students into avid readers and excited learners. I may get frustrated with everything going on outside of my classroom, but once I'm in my room with my kids, I can let all of that go and focus on what I know they need.
What do the words “use your outside voice” mean to you?