Sarah Spillman makes her mark at this school


Photo by Claire Lenkin

Math teacher Sarah Spillman offers help to students at the end of class.

A woman juggling her work life, as crazy and hectic as it may get, while being a supportive mother, finds herself seeking a job. One part-time position allowed her to view a community of students who, in her opinion, are some of the best students while giving her time to be with her kids. She’s teaching Honors Algebra Two and Honors Precalculus; one of the new teachers this year, Sarah Spillman.

Spillman, one of the newest additions to the math department of this school, works to create a learning environment similar to the one provided by her own inspiring teachers. While she has this new job as a math teacher, her role as a mother is still important to her. As much as she tries, it’s hard for her to have a job that follows set hours and also care for two kids. Regardless, she said her children admire her. She thinks her daughter is, “proud that I am a teacher and she tells her teachers that her mom is a teacher,” Spillman said.

While we learn from our teachers, Spillman said she learns from her students as well. “You guys talk about all kinds of things that I just never thought about. I feel like I was so wrapped up in myself as a high school student and I don’t see that now, so that really cool to see,” Spillman said.

Although she has only been here a short time, students have said that she is great. “She’s really nice and she is really sweet; she is patient when we ask questions,” sophomore Maggie Hennessy said.

Not only do her students like her, but so do her colleagues. “She’s been really fun to work with. She has great ideas and is extremely flexible and is always willing to help,” math teacher Eva O’Keefe said.

But with every job there are struggles we overcome. A battle she has to overcome is “time; I feel like there is never enough time. Sometimes I feel like we should be doing more practice and we kind of rush through topics but then there is a curriculum to follow, and there’s a lot of stuff we have to cover, so it’s just a constant battle,” Spillman said.

Even though Spillman is a teacher, she said she learns a lot through her job. “My first few years teaching, especially my first year, I was in a title one middle school, and I just realized there was so much more that impacts education than your teacher, as much as you want the teacher to be the most important thing, but there just so much else. If you go home and there’s no food in your refrigerator and you’re by yourself or you have to take care of your younger siblings; there’s just so much more that goes into education and it’s a lot harder to reach students like that,” Spillman

Teaching is something Spillman said she has always wanted to do. She has consider pursuing a different career, “ but I have never figured out anything else that would be as fulfilling,” Spillman said.