Today was the final day of Teacher Appreciation Week and while we appreciate every Schodack educator, a special shout out to Maple Hill Teacher Karen Sweet! Ms. Sweet was nominated by a colleague to be part of a small group of teachers given special recognition by WMHT Public Media. We found out earlier this week that she had been selected – congratulations to Ms. Sweet, we’re lucky to have her teaching our students! See the whole group of selected teachers on the WMHT website here.
Ms. Sweet is an incredible collaborator. For seventeen years, she has brought her talents to Schodack Central Schools, working with her peers every day to develop a strong educational community. Doing so enables her to provide innovative, inquiry-based math lessons for her students while developing supportive relationships with them. This year, she is co-teaching a geometry class with another math teacher, using a team-teaching approach that she helped develop in response to learning gaps caused by the pandemic. She also works with a direct consultant special education teacher in her grade 8 math classroom to best support students with Individual Education Plans.
Ms. Sweet is co-advisor of the Jr. High Student Council, teaming up with a 7th-grade teacher to facilitate as students represent their peers in the school building. In addition, she is the 8th-grade class advisor, enabling her to dovetail student council ideas and activities with plans specific to her 8th-grade students. These include officer elections, assemblies, school dances and the annual class trip.
Outside the classroom, Ms. Sweet serves as co-president of the Schodack Faculty Association. This is a time-consuming role with many committees and district-wide meetings. Not only does this role involve collaboration with our faculty, but it also involves cooperation and communication with district administrators to foster positive relationships that support the best learning environment for our students.
Ms. Sweet also volunteers to be a part of interview committees throughout the year. She values having input as teachers and administrators are selected to join our team and educate our students.
At the root of her involvement in these diverse school roles is her dedication to her students. If you were to walk by her bright classroom, you would see students collaborating at groups of desks or rotating through stations around the classroom. Whiteboards, sheets of poster paper, Chromebooks, digital calculators, math shapes, graphs, markers and colored pencils are resources you would see being used in creative interactive ways as Ms. Sweet, a collaborative educator, shares her love of math and learning with her students.