Principal Maquitta Davis said that Conway Elementary School Teacher of the Year Sarah Robinson radiates joy and it’s contagious, especially on Tutu Tuesdays.
Davis said that it’s just one example of all the things Robinson does to make learning fun for her third-graders – she comes to school decked out in a tutu every Tuesday.
“There’s so much I can say – I could say she’s truly deserving but it’s more than that. The love and compassion she has for her fellow teachers and students just radiates from her,” Davis said.
On the day the Teacher of the Year announcement was made, Robinson gathered her class to head to the main “circle” at the request of Davis and the administrative staff to hear the news.
“She called my name, and I cried. I had no idea,” Robinson said. “There are so many talented people here at the school that amaze me each and every day. I’m so honored … my kids were screaming and cheering.”
She had a celebratory parade through the school, which is usually done with her teaching team, but she said her students had to come too.
“One of my third-grade team members made me a poster, and we walked around with the kids. I really wanted to include my kids. They had huge smiles, they were so proud, that means more to me than anything,” Robinson said.
The Belpre, Ohio native decided after high school that she wanted to go somewhere warm.
“Snow and ice is not for me,” Robinson said.
She attended Coastal Carolina University, and did her internship at CES.
“I fell in love with the school,” she said. “I told her [Davis] how much I loved the family feeling here, and if a position ever opened, if she would consider me.”
She did her undergraduate work in early childhood education, and last spring received her Master’s Degree in Language, Literacy, and Culture from CCU as well.
Lo and behold, a position opened up in CES’ child development program, and Robinson got the job, and stayed there for three years before moving up to third grade general education last year, teaching reading, writing, social studies and science.
Thinking of the best thing about her job was easy, she said.
“Of course, it’s the kids,” Robinson said. “If I had to narrow down one thing, it would be just the love that they show.”
She said she has some former students who are now in the fourth grade that still visit her.
“At the tail end of the day sometimes they will pop in just for a hug. That just makes my day that they were thinking of me,” she said.
She said that while a lot of careers are monotonous where people are doing the same thing every day, teaching is the exact opposite, and it’s a new adventure every day.
“I’ve had some amazing teachers in my life to inspire me to be the teacher I am, and I hope to be able to share that in this leadership role this year … sharing what they’ve taught me and how they’ve influenced me,” Robinson said.
In her off time, Robinson enjoys traveling, reading, and going to the beach. She most enjoys traveling to big cities, since she is from such a small town, she said.
Her cat, Orange Kitty, is a big part of her teaching life as well as part of her home.
She said she likes to find points of connection with her students, and they have latched onto Orange Kitty. They love hearing her stories about her cat, and the students have drawn pictures of Orange Kitty for her as well.
She gave high compliments to CES and its leadership.
“Mrs Davis – if she asked me to, I would go teach on the moon,” Robinson said. “It’s a special school. There’s not quite anywhere like our school.”