Sara Hankins, V.L. Murray Elementary School
Sara Hankins, 3rd Grade Teacher, V.L. Murray Elementary School
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Finding balance. The “to-do” list, both professionally and personally, is always growing. It is often a challenge to remind myself to just breathe.

What’s the most common misconception about your job?

Most people think that a teacher’s day ends at 2:30 p.m. I am always thinking, reflecting, and creating more ways to help my students grow as life-long learners. Many nights I am up until the early hours of the morning researching and reading to improve my practice, communicating with parents, and preparing for the week ahead in my classroom.
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?

I see a shift in teachers’ mindsets ahead. A greater understanding that students have to be in charge of their own learning. Classrooms where kids are excited and empowered to think critically each day. I see kids with an unquenchable thirst for learning and teachers that can facilitate that learning. I believe more teachers will be willing to take risks in their own classrooms to go beyond a curriculum centered around standardized testing.

What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?

Growing up and in college I was a swim coach. I worked with a variety of age groups and ability levels. As a coach it was my job to not only teach kids how to swim, but also to encourage them to push themselves beyond their preconceived limits. I had to teach them perseverance and sportsmanship. As a coach my role was to inspire kids to work together towards common goals.