Educator Spotlight: Sarah Hofmeister
Meet Sarah Hofmeister
What grades do you teach, and/or your title/role?
I teach second grade.
What school, district or institution do you work for? Location?
Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland.
Who inspired you to become an educator?
Teachers and school in general inspired me. I've always loved school, so for me, it was a natural transition from student to teacher.
What motivates you?
Intrinsically, I think my upbringing helped me to be naturally motivated to work hard (and my type A personality also helps, I think). But my students motivate me every day. Being able to see them grow into well-rounded little people is something special.
What advice would you give to your first-year teacher self?
Just BREATHE! It doesn't all need to be done right now. Pace yourself and take time for yourself. You can't give your students the best version of yourself when you are drained.
What do you wish more people knew about being an educator?
Gosh, just all of the other things that go into it. We are educators, but so much of that has evolved with the times. We are also data collectors and analysts, therapists, planners, organizers, moms, healthcare/nurses, supporters—I mean the list could go on.
What do you love most about Bridges curriculum/math apps/MLC?
I love how versatile it is when it comes to hands-on and virtual aspects. I also really love how responsive MLC has been with what teachers need. We started with Bridges in year one of the pandemic. So learning a new curriculum on top of being virtual seemed daunting. But MLC was so wonderful with converting those lessons and helping to lay out lessons. That was super helpful for that transition.
What do you love most about working with students?
I love seeing them grow and learn. I love being able to build relationships with them—that allows them to feel safe to make mistakes and try hard to overcome their challenges.
What’s your math story? In other words, how do you feel about math and why?
As a student, I just did math because I "had" to. School was always important, so I knew I had to do my best in math so I could do my best in school. I think that outlook has totally shifted as a teacher. Teaching math and working through the different skills and strategies has helped me (as an adult) in the real world. I tell my students all the time how I use these same strategies (open number line, doubles, get to a friendly number and add the rest to name a few) as an adult when I am doing different things like shopping or paying the bill at a restaurant. Being taught math a different way when I was younger from the way we are teaching it now was mind-opening. It has definitely strengthened my mental math capabilities and changed my view of math.
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