Mrs. Sally English
How many years have you been teaching and what made you decide you wanted to teach?
I have been teaching for about 21 years and initially I did not want to become a teacher. To be honest I did not even fully like kids until I had my own and they started to grow up. One day I was talked into substituting by a friend and I really enjoyed it. After that I went back to school for my credentials.
What has your experience been like as a teacher a counselor?
My experience as a teacher and counselor has been full of triumph, despair, sorrow, joy, and everything in between.
What advice would you give to future teachers and counselors?
I would advise any future teachers and counselors to only go into the profession if you like children. Almost anyone can teach, however not everyone has the personality to connect with kids, which could make a bug difference in their teaching.
If you had to start your career all over again, what if anything would you do differently?
If I was able to control it, I’d like to be smarter. However seeing as that is not in my control, I;m actually really happy with the way my career turned out. I was very lucky as everthing just seemed to fall in place for me. Even when I was a teacher’s assistant or student teacher, I was happy to work with teachers that were not very great. It’s just as important to learn from the bad teachers as well as the good ones.
What are some things you wish more people realized about teaching and counseling?
I wish parents would realize they have more control over a student than they realize. Sometimes a parent can help a child and teach them more important things in life than counseling or teachers can. For example when parents ask me to put their child in counseling because they do not get along well with others, well they should have started teaching them about that when they were 2.
What is the best memory you have from being a teacher and counselor at Griffiths?
My best memory from teaching at Griffiths was when I worked really hard on a lesson for my 8th grade social studies class, and one of my students told me it was her favorite lesson. The lesson was about the slave trade and i demonstrated the conditions slaves faced on their journey. I never yell, however that day I started my lesson by raising my voice and ordering the students to line up outside my door. Then I would let them in little by little and loosely tie them with rope so they weren’t really confined as there would be some legal issues. They lied on the floor in neat rows and I turned the heat all the way up. After as a class we all discussed the harsh conditions that slaves faced and how the students were not being shown the full extent of the suffering the African Americans had to face on their journey to America through the slave trade.
What will you miss the most about teaching/ counseling and what will you not miss?
I will miss working with the great staff here at Griffiths and meeting with all of the students on a daily basis the most. However I will not miss having my day planned out for me. I could have a list of things to do but could never get to them because of phone calls from parents, someone came in crying, or other issues that require my attention arose.
What are you planning to do after you retire?
When I retire I plan on visiting my children and grandchildren, start researching my family history, and I plan on indexing vital records. Indexing birth, death, marriage, and sometimes divorce or any other important records makes it easier for others to discover their family history and allow them to discover what has happened in their families history. Everything is organized alphabetically.