Sara Little, Albemarle High School
Sara Little, English Teacher, Albemarle High School
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Time. Finding the time not only to create meaningful lessons, but also to assess the student work that is constantly coming in is a real struggle, especially after tacking on the class websites that need to be maintained and emails that need to go out. Establishing a work schedule that is sustainable in the long run is always my dream.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
I think there’s a very pervasive “kids these days” attitude in society. Whenever I meet someone new and tell them that I teach 11th graders, a wide-eyed look of horror typically spreads across that person’s face, usually accompanied by this phrase: “I don’t know how you do it.” In reality, the time in the classroom with the kids is the best part. I’m happy to report that our world’s future is in good hands. The vast majority of teens that I’ve taught are respectful, eager students.
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?
There is a constant push for more technology in the classroom, so I only see that becoming more and more prominent over the years. While I do agree that our students should keep abreast of the newest technologies, I do not pretend that replacing a textbook with a tablet is going to automatically create better thinkers and citizens. I hope that we find a meaningful role for technology in the classroom and that we continue to emphasize critical thinking and relationship building. I would also like to confess that I am very fond of paperbacks.

What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?
Being a student best prepared me to be a teacher. I empathize with my students because I can clearly recall how hard it was to balance seven or eight classes, focus on today versus the upcoming weekend, and just sit still. Being a student also introduced me to a host of talented, dedicated teachers who believed in me and worked tirelessly, and I daily aspire to be as excellent as all my teachers were.