Sara King: From a long line of teachers
Sara King of Parkway Elementary School had big shoes to fill. Coming from a line of teachers that includes her grandmother, aunt, and mother, Sara returned to her alma mater, Parkway Elementary to teach 4th grade math.
Sara King is nothing if not engaged with her students. As she says, “we have a silliness knob,” that they turn on and off. Sara believes that a classroom can be fun and, at times, silly while still promoting an efficient learning environment. “I think I have more fun than the kids do some days,” says Sara about her willingness to learn what her students are interested in and incorporate those interests in the classroom.
Sara believes in a collaborative learning environment and implements tools like STEMscopes which she feels helps her class collaborate. “We work in groups almost daily,” says Sara of her math class.
Sara doesn’t just limit having fun in the classroom, she does her best to be engaged in her students’ activities. She believes that when a student sees their teacher at their soccer game or dance recital, students reciprocate that interest in the classroom. Music is playing in the classroom almost daily and occasionally they even break out in dance! While dancing is occasional, laughing is constant.
Beyond involving herself in the classroom and in the individual activities of her students, Sara is involved with the University Interscholastic League. The UIL is an organization created by the University of Texas at Austin that “creates rules for and administers almost all athletic, musical, and academic contests for public primary and secondary schools in the U.S. state of Texas.” Sara is involved with 4th grade Number Sense, a competition that tests students’ ability to make quick mathematic mental calculations. After five years at Parkway Elementary and an award for Teacher of the Year in 2019, Sara’s approach to learning speaks for itself.