Math = Love: Back in the States with a Big Announcement

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Back in the States with a Big Announcement

Several of you have sent me e-mails letting me know that my lack of posting of late had you worried.  I want to assure everyone that I am okay! For the past two months, my husband and I have been visiting Australia with very limited internet access. We decided to take a twitter/blogging break and focus on spending time with family and friends. After 36 hours of traveling (thanks to a delayed flight that required rescheduling our last flight) and a good sleep, we are back home.

To make up for the lack of posts around here, I give you a photo of kangaroos at a wildlife sanctuary in South Australia and a promise that I will be breathing life back into this blog soon as I gear up to begin my sixth year of teaching.

Another reason things have been quiet on the blog front is that I have busy as a result of being named one of twelve finalists for 2018 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Before we left for Australia, I had to submit a binder/portfolio that consisted of a resume, photograph, and seven separate essays. I spent over a month on these essays, so it was great news to hear that I got to move on to the next stage of the competition. As a result, I had to film a ten minute video that captured my teaching style and philosophy. It was supposed to contain classroom footage, but I've never been videoed while teaching. Had they asked for this video during the school year, I would have videoed a lesson. Instead, we did the next best thing and edited the audio from my NPR story and added photos to give the selection committee a peek into what I am like as a teacher.  I want to say a special thanks to several MTBoS members who willingly gave up part of their summer to film video testimonials which I was able to edit and put into my video. My husband deserves a million thanks for filming my video clips and editing all of the video clips submitted by others to fit into ten minutes. I know pretty much nothing about video editing, so I wouldn't have been able to pull this off without him. After submitting the video last week, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

In my essays and video, I focused on the importance of opening your classroom to the world through social media. This allowed me to talk about my blog and twitter, specifically #Teach180. It made me super happy to see which quote the state department chose out of all my essays to put by my picture. The reason I keep blogging and tweeting is for my students.

In a few weeks, I will travel to the Oklahoma State Capitol for an in-person interview. The winner will not be announced until September.

I hope to organize my photos from our trip to Australia soon and write a blog post about some of our adventures. So keep an eye out for that soon. I'll also be sure to inundate you with classroom decorating ideas as I start to prep for the new school year. This year I will be teaching four sections of Algebra 1, one section of Math Concepts (a course for ninth graders not yet ready for Algebra 1), and one section of Chemistry. I'm relieved to be teaching chemistry this year instead of physical science. I am working my way through my husband's 11th grade physics textbook at the moment, but I still have so much to learn in order to do that course justice.  

Here's to more blog posts soon!


  1. Congrats on the Teacher of the Year nomination! And how funny, my husband and I are heading to Australia in 3 weeks before I head back to work.

    1. Thanks Anna! Hope you guys had a great time down under!

  2. Congratulations and best wishes!

  3. Congrats on the nomination! I also like your blurb about becoming the best teacher because your students deserve it! I am glad there are more people out there to help continue the modeling of life long learning, as well as showing that this career is not about the teacher per-say but the students.

  4. Congrats Sarah! I'm glad the state of Oklahoma is recognizing what an amazing teacher we know you are! Can't wait to see what you have in store for this school year!