Third Grade General Studies Teacher at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD
Nominated by: Whitney W.
“After spending six years teaching 5th graders in a South Carolina public school (her home state), she decided to join the Peace Corps. Sarah spent two years in The Gambia; living like a local, and training elementary teachers on effective literacy practices. After returning to the states, she joined the CESJDS staff where she has made a significant imprint in her three-year (and counting) tenure. She was selected as one of two Legacy Heritage Teacher Leader Fellows.
Sarah is also one of two co-developers of a new Lower School Executive Functioning curriculum and program. She has rolled up her sleeves to write units, develop teacher training and mentoring, and more. Sarah will also start a new role as the Grade Level Leader for the third grade in the fall.”
“Remember that parents and teachers both have the student’s best interest at heart.”
Q&A with Sarah Andrea
What originally got you interested in teaching?
I had amazing teachers all throughout my life, but especially in high school. My English teachers, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. DiGiacomo, inspired me to go into teaching.
What’s your funniest teaching moment?
Every year we invite family members to our class to share a book as the mystery reader. One parent went the extra mile when she hobbled into class on a walker wearing a monster mask!
Do you have any tried and trusted ideas or activities for motivating students?
I always spend the first weeks of school teaching and practicing routines and procedures. Students are successful when they know exactly what is expected of them.
What advice would you give to aspiring teachers?
Don’t feel pressure to say yes to everything. And, fake it ‘til you make it.
What are three things you use in your classroom everyday and could never live without?
Chime, a great read-aloud book and coffee.
How can parents and teachers work together to empower and engage children?
Remember that parents and teachers both have the student’s best interest at heart. Assuming best intentions goes a long way when creating a partnership between parents and teachers.