Sarah Shuster is a Social studies teacher at Brookline High School who now has her first full teaching job, after being a student teacher at Boston Latin. She is from Long Island New York, where she has grown up and lived for most of her life. She enjoys to return there every year to be a camp counselor at a camp that she has been going to for 17 years.
What made you want to become a teacher?
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to work with kids. I came to that realization through my experience as a camp counselor, but I didn’t necessarily know I wanted to be a teacher until my later years of high school and my early college years. That’s when I started to fall in love with history, so the combination of both working with kids and my passion for history led me to wanting to teach history.
Whenever you teach, what is something that you keep in the back of your mind?
I always try to think about my relationships with different students. Every student learns in his or her own way. I think about my relationship with a particular student, how I think that student will learn best, and try to differentiate how I present material. Just always remembering one way to present content may not work for everybody, so I always try to give a wide variety of ways for students to express themselves and perceive information.
What was the transition to BHS like for you?
This was actually a big transition for me because this is my first real teaching experience. You might interview other new teachers in the school who had prior placements, but this is really my first teaching experience. My first student teaching experience was Boston Latin School, so it is a similar transition in that both the schools are very rigorous they have very high expectations for their students. Being a teacher opposed to being a student teacher is a huge transition; You are presented with so many new responsibilities, and the classroom is now yours, no longer your cooperating teacher’s.
Is there anything else you wanted to mention?
I’ve had a great first two weeks, and I’m impressed by the entire school community. One thing that surprises me is that it is such a big school, but it feels so much smaller than it is. For example, Anthony Meyer, the interim headmaster, already knows exactly who I am. I was at least hoping to meet the principle months down the road. It’s such a big school and everyone has been so welcoming and makes it a point to introduce themselves to you. There are so many different faculty members, but they really seem to value their relationship with everyone.