Profile: McCall Recalls Her Teaching Journey

By Gabrielle Jordan/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sarah McCall helps Ashton Mattingly, 9.

As kids or adults, we have all struggled with something before, whether that be a research paper for English class or trying to figure out how to deal with a strenuous situation. Whatever it may be, we all know the feeling it brings. Even your teachers encounter the same emotions. Students have been conditioned to always assume teachers are perfect and have everything under control when in reality, they have struggled like the rest of us. 

Mrs. Sarah McCall is the math department head of Greenfield-Central. Through her eleven years of teaching, she has learned the ups and downs of this particular career through trial and error. 

At the beginning of her career, she mentioned that she battled with students to get their attention and control of the classroom. ”I’m not a Mr. Johnson, that doesn’t come out of me,” she said, meaning the powerful aura that comes from Mr. Johnson doesn’t emanate from her. He could tell kids to quiet down and pay attention and they would; they listened to him. 

McCall explained that if she were to try to yell at her students to get their attention, the students would just end up laughing at her. She later went on to reveal that in the beginning of her career, the fact that some of her students wouldn’t take her seriously would make her so frustrated and stressed out that she would go home and cry about it because she didn’t know what to do about it. 

McCall felt like at times, she wasn’t doing her job properly, when in actuality, her students thought otherwise. “She makes you feel successful. She doesn’t make me feel silly, or that I did something wrong for not understanding a question or a problem,” stated Alexis Torrez, 10, an Honors Algebra II student of  McCall. “She gives a chance for failure. Other teachers, I feel like, expect you to grasp a subject right away and assume you’re doing wrong when you fail. Mrs. McCall lets you mess up and learn from it with her afterward.” 

McCall discussed that she would like to see technology change in the education profession. “The big push with devices that so many schools are going with, I don’t know if that’s always the best. I think a lot of students feel that way too; the ones that really want to learn. The kids who want to play games all day, sure they love them. Some classes iPads can be great to use, but there should be iPads that you rent. I don’t think a student needs one all day everyday,” she explained. Students are sometimes distracted by the amount of technology at their fingertips and fail to pay attention and properly grasp the material being taught. 

Another one of her students, Ethan Bittinger, 9, commented that he could relate and understand McCall. “I feel very comfortable asking questions to her because she has a heartwarming smile that makes me know that she sincerely wants to help her students learn.”

Teachers are just like students: From McCall’s personal experience and stories, students can see that they struggle, they feel stressed out, frustrated and emotional when things seem out of their control. But yet with all the hardships of being a teacher, they still always manage to strive for the best. With every word they say, every dry erase marker used, every paper printed, every lesson planned, and every demanding hour spent grading, they manage to make a difference in students’ lives, just like McCall did with Torrez and Bittinger, among others.