Gold Star: Peet history teacher earns exclusive award

Peet Junior High history teacher Sarah Carlson and her whole class were in for a surprise on Monday, April 16. A single golden star balloon appeared through the classroom door along with a crowd of people, including Carlson’s husband, Peet’s administrative staff and members from Gold Star as they awarded Carlson with a plaque for outstanding teaching.

“I was like a deer in headlights when everyone came in the room. It was not registering in my head what was happening, but after I had time to think about it, it was one of the most honoring moments in my career, and I still am thrilled to be chosen as a recipient,” Carlson said.

Every year, the R.J. McElroy Trust and KWWL-TV recognizes 10 teachers in the Cedar Valley for outstanding  work. The teachers are awarded at a banquet, which students are encouraged to go attend. Teachers are nominated by students who think their teachers deserve recognition for their hard work. Gold Star has awarded over 260 student in the Black Hawk County.

Peet Junior High School’s very own 2017 Gold Star recipient uses creative and interactive lessons to teach her students about the history of America.

“My philosophy in teaching is never to be bored. Students learn more when they are engaged in the process, so this is what I try to bring into my classroom. I am lucky to live in the age of everything posted online because I can access lessons from around the world and resources at the click of a mouse,” Carlson said. “I spend countless hours planning activities and seeking out feedback from other teachers in the building, and my poor husband at home listens to me talk about possible activities at home too,” she said.

Carlson has known for a long time that being a teacher was something that came naturally. “I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was 6 years old. I played school all summer long, making worksheets for my friends so I could correct them. I had many influential teachers that inspired me. My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Daley made everyone feel special and included. She had us teach a lesson on the ancient Aztecs, and I was hooked at that point. In eighth grade, my social studies teacher had us view an image of a slave ship, and that was the instant I knew I had to teach the stories of people.”

Teachers are often underappreciated and deserve to know the work they put in is valued by students because teachers value students just as much. “My biggest influence as a teacher is my students. They are what I show up for each day. They teach me new ways of thinking. They push me to try new things and grow professionally. Helping young people uncover who they are and how they think and collaborating with other teachers who view education as a way to change the future,” is what teaching is all about for Carlson.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.