VES January Teacher of the Month
January 18, 2013
The VES January Teacher of Month is Ms. Sarah Sroka. She puts 110% effort into her position as Kindergarten Intervention Specialist. She supports the entire kindergarten team by creating academic and behavioral interventions to meet the needs of all students. She is devoted to every child in her class and treats them all with her caring and nurturing manner. She is definitely willing to do whatever it takes to make each child succeed! She consistently puts the students first and works tirelessly at her craft. She works seamlessly with her co-teacher, Mrs. Lawson to create a fun, academically enriching Kindergarten classroom.
Professionally, she has become a moral booster for the entire VES team. She provides moral boosting 'treats' at meetings. She organized the staff Christmas sing along for the student assembly. She volunteers to assist her colleagues, is very conscientious and always puts forth her best effort!
She has an amazing positive attitude that is contagious to everyone around her. Students absolutely love her. She is truly one of the nicest and most caring people you could ever find. We could all only dream of having half her energy!
She is Ms. Sarah Sroka - Intervention Specialist in Kindergarten at VES and this month’s most deserving Teacher of the Month.
Interview on Teaching and Leading
Why did you choose teaching as a profession?
When I was a little girl, I enjoyed playing school with the neighborhood kids. I would help my younger sister and her friends with spelling words and math problems on my little chalkboard. I enjoyed helping the kids learn. When I entered college and had the opportunity to work in many different classrooms, I knew teaching in an elementary school was my calling. It is the best feeling in the world when you see how much your Kindergarten students have learned in a school year. Teaching is the most rewarding profession.
Why or how did you choose to come to Vermilion?In 2010, I moved back to Ohio from living in Maryland and was subbing in many school districts. I saw a position opening in Vermilion and began researching the district. After learning about the excellent education offered in Vermilion and the wonderful technology available to the district, I applied immediately. After the interview process where I was able to meet many staff members, I felt right at home and knew this is where I wanted to continue my teaching career. I am very thankful to be a teacher in this district.
What do you like most about the Vermilion Local School District?
Where do I begin with my list of what I like about the Vermilion Local School District? I love the staff I work with everyday. Everyone works so hard to provide the best education for every student at VES. Our school feels like one big family. I love the technology our district provides to students and staff, which allows us to offer a level of eduction not available in most districts. I love the parental support the teachers receive. In our Kindergarten classroom, we always have parents eager to assist with class activities. Everything I’ve mentioned up until now is fantastic, but none of it would be possible without the students. I love each and every student that is in our classroom. Each student is unique and special and they all place a smile on my face everyday.
Give some examples of things you believe are important in teaching.
In my eyes, the most important aspects of being a teacher must be enthusiasm and love. Teachers must love what they do in order to be successful in the classroom. When a teacher is enthusiastic about what they are teaching, the students can sense the excitement and will be involved in the lesson. I believe teaching also consists of patience and flexibility. Everyday is a new adventure in Kindergarten. I also believe providing students with a sense of security is important. It is very important that our students know that school is like their second home. They are safe and they have teachers who care about them. Teaching is not just walking into school, planning lessons, and leaving. Besides providing an education, teaching consists of being a care giver, nurturer and listener.
What do you think is the most important thing you offer Vermilion students?
I think the most important thing I have to offer the Vermilion students is my enthusiasm for my job and my enthusiasm to work with them. The students in my classroom inspire me to be the best teacher I can be. I smile everyday when my students run up and give a me hug, or when they yell out “I love you, Miss Sroka.” They are the reason I love my job.
Describe some important influences in your life.
I am so lucky to have many great influences in my life. My parents have been a great influence on me and my teaching career over the years. They have supported my enthusiasm to teach from the day I decided to become a teacher. My sister is also a great influence in my life. She is my best friend and I am so proud to be her big sister. My First Grade teacher, Miss Swoboda, is a large influence on me as a teacher. She made First Grade an amazing learning experience and was a big reason I went into the teaching profession. The staff at VES is a wonderful influence. Everyone is so happy that it makes coming into work a fun time everyday. My Kindergarten teammates, especially my co-teacher, have also been influential on me personally and professionally. They are wonderful colleagues, friends, and teachers. My friend, colleague, and mentor, Katie Cseh, is a great influence. She has gone above and beyond to be there for me as a friend and as a teacher. Lastly, my students are an important influence on my career. They make me strive to be the best teacher I can be! They are the reason I do what I do.
What are your interests outside of your job?
Outside of school, there are many things I enjoy doing. I love spending time with my family and my boyfriend. I also enjoy walking with my yellow lab, Brutus. I enjoy shopping, watching movies, trying new restaurants and hanging out with my wonderful friends.