Originally published in The Courier & Press – September 23, 2018
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Courier & Press wants to highlight a group of people who impact the younger generations every day — teachers.
Every week we will showcase one educator from a local Tri-State school.
Meet Sarah Meyer, a high school virtual special education teacher for Insight School of Indiana. Meyer has been a teacher for 16 years, teaching virtually for three years.
Courier & Press: What was your first job?
Sarah Meyer: I worked at McDonalds on St. Joe Avenue in Evansville.
C&P: What’s your favorite tactic for getting students to pay attention?
Meyer: Humor- kids love to laugh and it makes them feel at ease.
C&P: What are three items you have on your desk?
Meyer: My laptop, an energy drink and a picture of my kids.
C&P: What’s one teaching supply you can’t live without?
C&P: Debate… Chalkboard or whiteboard?
Meyer: Whatever works!
C&P: What’s your favorite school lunch?
Meyer: Chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and roll day. So good!
C&P: What was your favorite subject when you were in school? Why?
Meyer: English, I’ve always loved to read and write, and I had some amazing teachers who helped me build on that passion. They taught me to take risks in my writing.
C&P: What’s one item on your bucket list?
Meyer: Join the Peace Corps when my kids are grown.
C&P: What’s the most difficult thing you’ve encountered being a teacher?
Meyer: I don’t remember ever feeling prepared to face kids who had little to no support at home. I didn’t grow up like that, so seeing it first-hand was hard. The home lives of some of our kids — you just can’t imagine some of them. You learn quickly that your lesson for the day is NOT the most important part of your job.
C&P: What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Meyer: The awesome personalities of my kids. I LOVE getting to know my kids: what they love, what they hate, their dreams, struggles. All of it!
C&P: If you weren’t a teacher, what other job do you think you would like to do?
Meyer: Owning a used bookstore.
C&P: What’s the one food you can’t live without?
C&P: Were you named after anyone?
Meyer: My middle name is Ellen after my grandmother.
C&P: Did you have braces? If so, do you have any stories about your experience with them?
Meyer: I did in junior high. I honestly don’t remember that part of life. Maybe I’ve blocked it out, ha!
C&P: What’s your biggest strength?
Meyer: Getting kids to realize English class isn’t all that painful.
C&P: We know teachers are human, too. What is a weakness of yours?
Meyer: Math – It’s embarrassing, really.
C&P: What are you listening to right now?
Meyer: Pearl Jam – “Jeremy”
C&P: What was the last movie you watched?
Meyer: “Peter Rabbit” with my kids
C&P: What’s your favorite sound?
Meyer: My kids laughing.
C&P: What college did you attend?
Meyer: Indiana State University, Terre Haute
C&P: When did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?
Meyer: From a young age I wanted to be a school teacher, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I took an Education 100 class at UE through Signature School and fell completely in love with it.
C&P: Any advice for people who hope to become a teacher one day?
Meyer: Take risks in the classroom. Kids love it. If it fails, you move on and the kids will go with you. They enjoy seeing you try (and fail). It shows them you’re human. Plus it gives you a chance to laugh together.
To learn more about Insight School of Indiana, visit https://in.insightschools.net/.