The Canton Charge, powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, are excited to announce January’s winner of the Most Valuable Teacher of the Month presented by WGU Ohio is Adrienne Sarbaugh from East Canton High School.
Mrs. Sarbaugh teaches English and goes above and beyond on a daily basis for students. She is highly organized and motivated and has a student focused mindset. She is also very involved in after school activities, including coaching volleyball, basketball, and softball, as well as helping out with the yearbook.
Following the announcement, Mrs. Sarbaugh took a moment to reflect on what he enjoys about teaching and how the pandemic has just continued to help him grow.
- How have you been adapting to teaching in a new way during these times and continuing to connect with the students?
As a new teacher, I would say that I haven’t had much to adapt to because this is my first year. Therefore, all the procedures and policies that have been put into place due to the pandemic is all that I know. So in a way, I am lucky that it is my first year because I had a fresh start and no expectations coming into this year. However, I have had to adapt to having students both online and in person. Staying organized has helped with this tremendously. As for continuing to connect with students, I think the best way to do this is just by reaching out. Sending emails to check-in and setting up Google Meets has been the main tools I have used to do this. Additionally, coaching sports has helped because I have more time to see students and engage with them. Students that are online also have the opportunity to practice which has been beneficial as well.
- What has been the most meaningful moment in your teaching career?
As a first-year teacher, I have had a lot of great moments. However, I would say so far the most meaningful moment in my career was when one of my students wrote me a thank you note. The note was so kind and affirmed everything that I want to be as a teacher. The student did not really have anyone to turn to during a difficult time, so when I was able to offer them a listening ear and simply be there for them they felt safe and had someone to trust which is what they shared in their thank you note. As a teacher, I want to be there for my students and help them in any way I can, so being able to build that rapport with all of my students has been incredible.
- What is something you look forward to doing with your students every year?
There are a lot of things I look forward to doing with my students. This year I am looking forward to getting to know all of my students and sharing my love of English with them. However, more specifically I look forward to reading my students’ writing pieces. At the start of every class, students respond to a journal entry which I then collect at the end of the nine weeks. I have learned so much about my students through this process and have seen all of them develop as writers. I plan to continue with this every year and look forward to seeing how far my students progress in growing as both writers and people.
- What is a way that has stood out in which you were supported or learned from your fellow teachers and how important is that support system especially in these times?
I am so fortunate to work at East Canton because the staff, community, and students are all wonderful. So many teachers have offered their support by check-in with me, offering ideas, and providing feedback or guidance as I continue to learn and grow as an educator. I know that if I need anything the administration and staff will do everything they can to ensure I am supported and have the tools I need to strive as a teacher. Having this support system is essential in any job, but especially in teaching and even more so during these times because there are so many aspects to stay on top of. I have felt welcomed from day one which has meant the world to me and I am so proud to be a hornet and part of the East Canton community.