Rutherford High School welcomes a new geometry teacher this year: Miss Sadowski. An alumna from Fairleigh Dickinson University Madison, she previously taught math in a middle school. I had the opportunity to speak with her and find out more about some of her favorite things, her teaching experiences, and the passion she has for her profession.
Megan Chow: Could you introduce yourself to our R-Hi readers? What are some of your favorite movies, shows, and hobbies?
Miss Sadowski: I love spending time with my friends and family and I go to the gym often to destress. I still keep up with The Walking Dead and Dirty Dancing is my favorite movie. I could actually quote the entire movie. When I was little, I grew up dancing, so anything involving dance interests me. Algebra is my favorite math topic to teach.
MC: What do you consider your greatest achievement or trait?
S: Definitely my grades and experience in college. I was a full time student, worked three jobs, and still graduated with honors and was inducted into national math honor society.
MC: When you were younger, did you see yourself becoming a teacher?
S: I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was little, I thought of teaching elementary school, but as I got older and participated in student teaching, I decided I wanted to teach high school students. I realized elementary school requires a lot of patience.
MC: What made you enter this profession? When did you realize it was right for you?
S: In third grade, I had a student teacher and she was the nicest person ever. She made school fun for me and I wanted to be just like her.
MC: What is your favorite part of teaching? What are some difficulties that you’ve faced in the profession?
S: My favorite part is when my students understand the material and have their “ah-ha” moment. It’s nice seeing them put concepts together and understand it all together. It’s difficult figuring out how to explain things differently to make lessons more clear to my students. But I like the challenge and finding little tricks to help them all understand. I use different colors to help them have more organized, understandable notes and give my students math labs to help reiterate the material they learned in class.
MC: How do you motivate your students and yourself?
S: I tell my students to try to do a lot of practice on concepts they still feel uneasy about. I make Post-it notes to help them and encourage them to form small groups to collaborate with each other. To motivate myself, I go to gym and clear my head. Running on the track helps me think differently.
MC: Why did you decide to teach math?
S: In math, there’s only one answer. It’s either right or wrong, but the process of getting to that answer can be different. And it’s the same in life.
MC: What are some of your favorite quotes?
S: “Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain.” “Live in the moment and enjoy life.”
MC: Which Hogwarts house do you think you’d be sorted in?
S: I don’t know what house I belong to, but if I could choose I’d pick Gryffindor.
MC: If you could grow up in any decade, which would you choose?
S: The 80’s for sure. I absolutely love the music.
MC: Are you happy so far with what you’ve achieved as being a teacher?
S: Yes! I feel like I have come a long way since my first year of teaching 7th grade math. My teaching style has definitely changed. I feel more comfortable in front of the classroom, mostly from my daily practice and experience.
MC: To close up, do you have any advice for aspiring teachers?
S: Work hard. Being a teacher is hard; you really have to know your material. I would say start by working as a substitute. Shadow someone and spend time in school observing from a teacher perspective. In college, try it out and see if the profession is right for you while you’re still in your freshman year.