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What's Up Magazine

Sarah Allen

Jan 09, 2017 03:15PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Sarah Allen

Indian Creek School, Crownsville

Years teaching at Indian Creek: 5

Currently teaching: 1st grade Language Arts, Math, Science

Proudest teaching moment: “It is difficult to choose one proudest moment as teaching brings many joys each day. However, one particularly exciting moment for me in the classroom was watching my students master basic programming and robotics so they could create working Mars rovers during our earth and space science unit. It was not easy for the students, but they worked collaboratively through many obstacles to create functioning robots. The joy on their faces was contagious as they demonstrated their robots for their peers and parents.”

Teaching philosophy: “Teaching is truly the collection of small, magical moments filled with the excitement, laughter, and hopes of the students we are gifted to teach. My goal is to inspire all of my students to become independent, critical thinkers with confidence to face any challenge they meet.”

Toughest challenge facing educators: “Finding the time to fit in all of the important and wonderful things our students get to learn and experience in school. Whether it is character education or robotics, it is so critical that our students are exposed to and get to experience the wonder and joy that learning brings. While it can be challenging to fit it all in, the more purposeful you can be in planning and executing the curriculum, the more the students will gain from the program.”

Sarah embodies the best qualities of an exceptional teacher in the 21st century. She is undoubtedly professional, knowledgeable, and reflective in her practice. She is innovative, forward thinking, and research-based. And more than that, her class is just a bunch of fun. Sarah not only uses neuroscience to inform her teaching, but she infuses that thinking into lessons that engage students. Her classroom is set up like a brain functions. Students study parts of the brain and their function and then use the classroom as that model. Sarah has not only taught a blended learning class for students in early childhood, she speaks on blended learning for early childhood students nationally in addition to speaking nationally on programming in early childhood or as she says, ‘pint-sized programming.’ Sarah was also the recipient of the national 2016 Pearson CITE Award for Excellence in Online Education K-12.” —Dr. Rick Branson, Head of School

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