Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

After graduating from Michigan State University and obtaining Mathematics Major, Physics and Integrated Science Minors, and Secondary Education Certification. I completed my student teaching at Eisenhower High School in Macomb, MI. In my first five years I have worked at Holland New Tech in Holland, MI, Manor New Technology High School in Manor, TX and am currently a member of the founding staff of Cedars International Next Generation High School, a new PBL STEAM high school in Austin, TX. In addition to teaching, I coached basketball and was awarded the Knowles Teacher Initiative Fellowship (formerly Knowles Science Teaching Foundation) in 2014. My passion lies in teaching high school math and science, particularly in a project-based learning model. MSU has allowed given me a wide range of classroom experiences allowing me to experience many different teaching situations. As a teacher, I am excited to be able to share my knowledge and positive views of mathematics to students. This portfolio fulfills one of the last requirements for a graduate degree in teaching and curriculum from Michigan State.

I am currently teaching Algebra 1 and an integrated Environmental Science and Statistics course at Cedars International High School. In addition to my teaching commitments, I have been tasked with developing the professional learning plan for the staff. Cedars, founded in 2016, is a new project-based learning (PBL) Texas-STEM academy in Austin, Texas. We are a small public charter school focused on creating a strong culture to provide a safe environment for all of our students to succeed in a rigorous STEM environment. Most of our students are on free or reduced lunch and will be first-generation college students. As a part of the New Technology Network of Schools we are dedicated to educating our diverse population using technology to enhance, teaching that engages, outcomes that are relevant and creating a culture that empowers.

Outside of school, I work with a team of veteran PBL practitioners to train teachers in methods of PBL. We work globally to provide a foundation in PBL and continued coaching as they develop into strong PBL teachers. Leading these trainings allows me to stay grounded and true to the project-based learning model and strengthens my development when I return to my classroom. It is very rewarding to meet and work with teachings from all over the globe.

To round out my professional experience I am extremely involved in the Knowles Teacher Initiative Fellowship. Along with being a fellow, I have been a co-chair and member of committees and attended and presented at multiple conferences. This organization has had the most influence on my development as a teacher since graduating from my undergraduate program. As a fellow in the 2014 cohort of 32 new STEM teachers, I have engaged in extensive professional learning with them and the other cohorts to develop content knowledge for teaching, practitioner inquiry, and teacher leadership.

Outside of my professional life, my passion for the sport of rowing has built drive, commitment and teamwork skills. I started rowing in college for the MSU Crew Club and have competed at many national races and have some medals to show for it! Rowing was a very demanding sport to balance along with my academic and work schedules. Today I continue to row competitively for Texas Rowing Club’s Competitive Women’s Team.

As I complete this portfolio, I hope it demonstrates the diverse sources of learning I have engaged in and how each one of them has added to my professional identity today.

Sincerely,

Sarah DiMaria

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