My name is Sarah Hagan, and if you asked my high school math students, they would tell you that I am weird. (Seriously, somewhere in the world of facebook, there is a photo of me floating around that has the caption "This is my weird teacher.") Why do they think I'm weird? I love math. Even more than that, I love teaching math. Algebra is my specialty. I take students who hate math and show them how much fun it can be. (And, in case you were wondering, it's infinitely fun!) Since I don't teach geometry, there is a one-year gap where I don't get to teach my students between Algebra 1 and Algebra 2. It makes my day when geometry students stop by my classroom to make sure that I'm still going to be teaching Algebra 2 the next year. It makes my day/week/month/year/life to see students excited to take Algebra 2 who entered my Algebra 1 class hating math. Words I love to hear: "I miss your class, and I NEVER thought I would ever say that about a math class." I am more than a math teacher. I am a difference maker. A life changer.
The most important fact about me that I probably should have written about first is that I am a sinner who is saved by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior, and my King. I attend a small, country Baptist church where I play the piano, teach a Sunday School class, volunteer in Children's Church, have served as the VBS director for the past three years, and attend church camp as a sponsor. I love my church family! I am nothing without Christ, and I hope and pray that I bring glory to God daily through my teaching and through this blog.
I'm a proud graduate of The University of Tulsa. Go Golden Hurricane! Because being affiliated with one natural disaster related mascot wasn't enough, I took a job in the tiny, oil field town of Drumright, Oklahoma. It's a town of roughly 3,000 people. Having been devastated twice by a tornado, the school adopted the tornado as its mascot. Or, maybe they adopted it before then? I'm only starting my third year here, so I've still got a lot to learn. Since moving here, the town did away with its only stoplight. But, this small town is growing on me. In fact, I think this tiny town and its amazing people may have stolen my heart. I'm so proud to be a Drumright Tornado!
Living and teaching in a small town also means working in a small school! We graduate approximately 30 students each year. Though, that number will hopefully be on the rise because we have approximately 50-60 in our freshman class! This means that we serve roughly 175 students in the 9th-12th grade. We have two teachers for each core subject (math, English, science, and history) and one teacher for each elective (computers, agriculture, family and consumer sciences). Add in one principal, one counselor, one special ed teacher, one secretary, one library aide, one custodian, and two cafeteria ladies, and you have the entire school! Though there are definite downsides to working in such a small school, I love that I am able to get to know ALL of the teachers and almost ALL of the students. And, the class sizes are amazing! This year, my biggest class has 22 in it. Of course, we also have small classrooms to go along with those small class sizes. But, what should you expect when your school building was built in 1919?!?
I am obsessed with making math as fun as possible. I spend my paycheck on markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, and dry erase markers. Oh, and lots and lots of chocolate! I laminate things like crazy, and I can't imagine teaching math without using an interactive notebook. I can talk about interactive notebooks for hours and hours. I lesson plan with foldables and graphic organizers in mind. I try to make things as hands-on as possible. I'm definitely a work in progress. Classroom management is a struggle for me, but I'm getting better!
Though it may be hard to imagine, I do have a life outside of teaching and blogging about teaching. I'm a voracious reader, and I'm on a mission to read as many books as possible during 2014. I'm on the board of directors for my local friends of the library group. I try to stay active by biking and running in my neighborhood. I'm currently training to run my first 5K. I'm definitely not a gardener, but I try to keep several potted plants alive on my front porch. I don't have any pets, so I've had to resort to naming my plants. That's not weird, right?
Other things I enjoy: origami, crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, Kenken puzzles, board games, blogging (obviously!), reading, playing the piano, volunteering at the library, baking, and finding fun ways to put off washing the dishes.
Want to know more super interesting facts about me? Check out the 30 Awesome Facts You Should Probably Know About Ms. Hagan that I shared with my students on the first day of school.
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