Sarah Barrett


My name is Sarah. I graduated from Gettysburg College in 2013 with a degree in Philosophy. I have been a paraprofessional in the West Jefferson Hills School District in Pittsburgh's South Hills for two years, and I have had the chance to work with students in kindergarten through 5th grade. I typically work with students one-on-one or in small groups. I began my journey in the PreK-4 graduate and certification program last summer, and I feel like I have already learned so much!

I never thought I would become a teacher. In fact, I dismissed the idea many times over the years when my family suggested it. It wasn't until I was actually in a classroom, interacting with students and other education professionals, that I really felt the desire to teach. My coworkers were also very influential in my decision to pursue a teaching career; they have always given me great feedback about my work and always pushed me to consider getting my certification.

My Writing Experience

I have always enjoyed writing, and I have always felt that I communicate much more effectively in writing than verbally. I actually wanted to be a journalist when I was in middle and high school. As a kid I was constantly writing- telling stories, making signs, composing the greeting inside a card, keeping a journal, and making up songs- and I was always encouraged to do so by my parents and grandparents.

In high school, I took English classes both my freshman and senior years with one of my favorite writing teachers, Mr. Fluhme. He taught us about the writing process, and I learned strategies for pre-writing and drafting papers that I still use today. I also found a great interest in writing research papers in his class. It was such a cool idea to me that I could synthesize others' ideas and expand them with my own thoughts to create something new. I loved that writing could be both methodical and creative at once.

I think that my interest in writing has always had to do with my love of reading. Trying to imitate what I was reading was a huge part of my learning to write as a kid. In college, the texts for my philosophy classes were totally absorbing. I would sometimes have to read very slowly, or out loud, or over and over again to grasp the point, but it was always so satisfying to work out the author's message. These days I am really loving historical fiction as a way to relax and get lost for a while.

A Little More About Me