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The Ewing Public Schools STAFF Spotlight: Meet Sarah Burdick

Ms. Burdick

 

Where do you teach and what grade level/courses?  How long have you been a teacher?

I teach 7th grade English at Fisher Middle School. 2018-2019 marks my fourth year at Fisher, but I have been in education since 2014. My first real experience was working in a 6th grade classroom in a middle school in Philadelphia. 

 

What college or university did you attend and why did you choose that establishment of higher-education? 

 I went to TCNJ for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I had a number of friends and a cousin who went there, and many of them told me it was an ideal college for people who wanted to pursue education. 

 

What made you want to become a teacher?

 ​What originally inspired me was when I read the information and the statistics surrounding the connection between low literacy and incarceration rates as part of a class in college. The second bit of information that sparked my interest in becoming an English teacher specifically was the widening achievement gap between the genders as well as the racial achievement gap. It became clear that literacy was a powerful tool that could unlock many accomplishments for our students, but could also be used to target many problems facing this country.

 

When a student leaves your classroom at the end of the year, what do you want them to remember most?

 I want them to remember that the purpose of school is not to memorize or regurgitate facts; it's about thinking creatively and abstractly. I want them to question and to challenge, and I want them to eventually discover the satisfaction that comes with being a life-long learner. 

 

What do you like best about Ewing?

 ​I really love the community feel! I love the language and the culture surrounding being a family. 

 

What do you think is the most important aspect of teaching?

 Connection to the students. We can´t teach children that we don´t take the time to know. I would also say cultivating a mutual respect between student and teacher. 

 

What do you do outside of school?

 I work as a waitress on the weekends. In my downtime, I like to read, visit museums, and travel. 

 

Who or what has impacted your life in a positive way?

My parents were my first and biggest influences. I think they were the ones to instill in me the drive as well as the altruism that I bring to my job. 

 

How do you define success?

​Success to me is most often a feeling; once I have accomplished something, and I´ve stopped coming back to it or tweaking it, I feel I am successful in that endeavor.  

 

What is the one thing people do not know about you that you would like to share?

 I was almost born in Japan! My dad was offered a position in Tokyo while my mom was pregnant. Had he accepted, I would have been born there. 

 

What is your favorite quote or book?

I adore the book The Goldfinch ​by Donna Tartt. At its core, it talks about being grateful for the time you have with your loved ones, and learning to appreciate the beautiful, but fleeting moments that life has to offer.