Teacher: Sarah Alexander
School: North Elementary School, Sycamore
Number of years teaching: 13 years
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I have always enjoyed when volunteers from Ag in the Classroom come into our classroom to work with my first graders and teach them about agriculture and seeds. I was also fortunate enough to attend the Summer Ag Institute. I have also checked out science kits that were very engaging for my students.
What is your favorite unit to teach? I have two favorites. I absolutely love teaching about plants because it is so hands-on for kids. We have an opportunity for kids to plant seeds with Ag in the Classroom and we love to watch the plants grow. The kids then get to take them home. We also have a fantastic school garden that first graders get to help harvest as well as plant. It is a wonderful opportunity for them to see the whole growing cycle. I also really enjoy teaching about animals and their offspring. Kids are always so drawn to animals and seeing baby animals and their parents through Sycamore High School’s FFA petting zoo as well as the science kits that teachers are able to check out from the Farm Bureau.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy empowering kids and celebrating them.
What is something unique that you do in your classroom? Well my singing and dancing is quite unique! We also do STEAM time on Fridays. It is one of my favorite parts of the week. It is a great learning and growing time for first graders to be engaged in problem solving and grow their confidence as thinkers. My only role during that time is to watch kids be amazing and I love every minute of it.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? My parents have always taught us to be community minded. We are incredibly lucky to live in a community like Dekalb County where there is so much going on specifically in food and farming. I think it is important for kids to be knowledgeable about what their community offers so they appreciate and respect all that is going on around them. And hopefully it will teach them to be community minded as well.
Family: Husband Jeremy, and three sons, Brock, Hunter and Dawson
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Parks and Recreation from Western Illinois University, Master’s Degree in Teaching from National Louis University, Master’s Degree in Reading Instruction from Aurora University
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to do something with plants and trees. I’ve always been a tree hugger.
Quote: “Every interaction matters.” Unknown
Book: “When Kids Lead” by Todd Nesloney and Adam Dovico
Sports team: Sycamore Spartans
Travel destination: Any Major League Baseball ballpark