Member Spotlight: Sarah Massie
My name is Sarah Massie, and I am a DCPS early childhood teacher-leader proudly serving the Mary H. Plummer Elementary School community.
I discovered my passion for working with young children in high school. In the summer I worked as a child-care employee for my local Department of Recreation and Parks summer camps. Throughout college, I took every opportunity I could to learn and grow as a novice educator. This included working as a substitute teacher for the entire four years of my bachelor's degree.
When I graduated from Frostburg State University in Maryland jobs for teachers were not easy to find. Initially, I did a lot of substituting, as did many of my peers. This experience truly prepared me for my first teaching job. I officially began my career as a self-contained special education public preschool teacher in Maryland. Those first few years I had the privilege to learn from so many different teachers and special education service providers who are masters of their craft. That experience further fueled my passion to serve our youngest learners and their families. My early teaching experiences taught me the true value of building relationships with students, families, and school stakeholders. Shortly before I left Maryland I was a recipient of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Special Education Award of Excellence for my work with the children and families in the district.
I came into DCPS as a Capital Commitment Fellow, and for the past six years I have had the privilege to work at Plummer Elementary. During my time in DCPS, I have had the unique opportunity to engage in many leadership roles while still remaining a full-time classroom teacher. Within my school community, I serve as the ECE Grade Level Chair, ECE LEAP Leader and I am actively involved in the Academic Leadership Team. I also serve as a DCPS Teacher Selection Ambassador and ECED Professional Development Presenter. In 2017, I was asked to serve on the team that developed the 2019 DC Early Learning Standards for Science and Engineering. In 2018, I was recognized as an OSSE Master Science Teacher for Early Childhood. Most recently I have been a professional development presenter at the OSSE Early Childhood Summit, the OSSE STEM Summit, the Early Educators Leadership Conference, and the National Science Teachers Association Conferences. All of these experiences have provided me with the opportunity to grow in my teaching practice which now spans over 10 years in early learning. More importantly, the experiences have given me the chance to connect with and learn from other passionate educators. The most important role I hold is serving as an early childhood public school teacher here in the District of Columbia. I love being in the classroom and I believe that it is truly a privilege to serve DC families.
Currently, amid this pandemic, I am working to be as responsive and accessible as possible to all of the stakeholders in our school community. In these uncertain times, for me, it is the relationships I have built within the walls of our school that are seeing me through. It's the phone calls and text messages from coworkers, the video chats with students and emails from their parents, and yes, it's even our thread on Microsoft Teams entitled 'Plummer Joy'. Those small moments put a smile on my face and reaffirm my long-held belief that positive relationships are one of the necessary keys to high-quality education. As we continue to navigate this unprecedented crisis my hope is that every child and family living through this pandemic, especially here in DC, feels connected and supported by their school and teachers.