I feel so privileged that I am able to connect with so many teachers across the state (and nation) who are passionate about creating positive social impact through education. It energizes me each time I am able to discuss policy, teacher voice and student outcome with teachers and other invested stakeholders.
I recently met Sierra Charlesworth at the Utah ECET2 event. She is an excellent example of the amazing teachers in Utah. Here is a bit more about her:
Where did you do your teacher prep? Utah Valley University (woot!) in Elementary Education.
Where have you taught in your teaching career? I taught one year of fourth grade and the past five years have been in sixth (still in elementary school in my current district)
What is the funniest thing a student has ever said?
Student:”You are like the funniest and prettiest teacher I’ve ever had.”
Me: “Oh, you’re sweet! Thank you.”
Student: “No, really. I’ve had some really ugly teachers…”
What one piece of advice would you give to new teachers? Be patient with yourself. You will not be a master at every aspect of teaching every year. You will continue to learn and change and grow as a teacher, so keep doing what you can! Don’t give up. I know the first year can be difficult, but you came into this profession for a reason. Be confident and don’t kill yourself.
What is your favorite teacher resource? I LOVE Weebly, Prodigy, and Scootpad.
Describe any experience you have had in education policy. I currently attended ECET– a conference for teachers who were nominated as leaders. This conference helped solidify that I am beginning to be involved in education policy! I have been to Educator on the Hill at the State capitol to help legislators in their decisions in education. I have contacted my local legislator regarding issues on class size and teacher pay. I have started following other teachers on twitter and Instagram (@sierrasview) and continue to use my voice to stand up for teachers’ and what is best for my career, as a teacher, and for the students. We do have a voice!!!
What’s the biggest change you would like to see in education? There are many things that I would like to change. But the two that I feel the strongest about currently are: Teacher pay raise and & the allotment of money to be distributed differently. People would be more likely to pay taxes if they knew that those taxes were going to the teachers and not necessarily higher positions or other things in the district. Teachers deserve to be paid more. Simple as that.
Smaller class sizes in Utah. It is NEVER acceptable for a classroom to have more than 30 students. Ever. This needs to change.
Thanks Sierra for all you do!