After she graduates this spring, Sara Keller ’17 will join the staff of Greenwich Country Day School (GCDS), a renowned pre-K through middle school in Connecticut, as part of the co-teacher program.
Employing 25 college graduates in one- or two-year placements, the GCDS co-teacher program facilitates entry into the elementary and early childhood teaching profession. The program offers new teachers like Keller opportunities to explore all aspects of an elementary classroom, while teaching under the mentorship of a lead teacher.
Keller’s interest in GCDS peaked last spring when the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education hosted representatives from the school. “After formally submitting my qualifications in the fall, I was invited to spend a day on their campus where I was able to speak with administrators, teachers and other passionate applicants,” says Keller.
A triple major in educational studies, public policy studies, and political science, Keller recently completed a capstone public policy brief on education policy, focusing on inclusive education and transformative pedagogy.
“I am interested in how classrooms, educators, curriculum, and the school setting as a whole have the ability to motivate and connect with students while making it harder for others to obtain the same experience,” she says. “I am interested in seeing how small changes in classroom processes and materials can make a pivotal difference in the educational attainment and experience of children.”
Keller has gained a multifaceted perspective on education through various classroom experiences, service-learning courses, close work with HWS faculty, and through an internship she obtained while studying abroad in New Zealand.
A four-year member of the William Smith cross country team, Keller has also been involved with, and helped coordinate, Run Like a Girl, a program the cross country team participates in to engage with Geneva Middle School girls and promote conversation about health, self-confidence and positive body image.
With the support of GCDS, Keller plans to pursue a master’s program. In the meantime, as a co-teacher, Keller says she will “spend more time in the classroom where I will be able to further develop my skills as a teacher. In addition to this great hands-on experience, I will be able to continue to learn from, and collaborate with, other teaches as well as engage with classroom and lesson planning.”