Meet the Teacher

Traditional Classroom

Hi, I’m Sara!

I’m a teacher and I am part of a team creating a new alternative education environment.

Before we discuss school, I wanted to talk about how I was as a student. I was always an anxious child in school. I was painfully shy and couldn’t stand being asked questions aloud in class. The hardest years for me were when my teacher picked on me often. My anxiety would take over and I would repeatedly ask to go to the bathroom, or pretend to be sick. One year I pretended to be sick so much that my parents had to meet with the principal to discuss holding me back a grade. I had missed 33 days that year, each one of those days actively pursuing my mom to let me stay home.

That being said, I grew up. I attended high school where I made friends and felt more comfortable. I moved on to post secondary education where I finally excelled both socially and academically. I worked hard to receive an Honours degree as well as entry into the Bachelor of Education program.

I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher; but why? My memories of elementary school are less than ideal, so why did I make it my goal to go back? I wanted change. I wanted to make my students comfortable. I wanted to be warm, welcoming and friendly. I wanted to change the way a classroom was designed, I wanted to change the way teachers talk to their students. I wanted to change the whole concept of learning.

I went through the normal, traditional schooling method and I turned out just fine, right? I received two degrees as well as honours. I adjusted socially, I have friends and I am married. I still can’t help but think…What if we can make it better? What if rather than “getting by” we could get our students excited about learning? What if they enjoyed coming to school so much that they took charge of their own learning? What if children didn’t have to sit still at their desks all day? What if we increased their outdoor and play time and decreased the structure time? What if teachers became facilitators?

What if it works?

Let’s find out.

Article by Sara Machnik

Sara has been working with children for over 15 years holding a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) in Child and Youth studies and is an Ontario Certified Teacher, she is passionate about education and excited to be a part of its evolution.