High School Teacher of the Year

Sarah Wilkins

Sarah Wilkins began her teaching career at Caney Creek High School teaching tenth grade English II. Since she began her career six years ago, she has taught multiple grade levels at both middle and high school, both on-level and Pre-AP English in addition to theater, worked with a range of students of varying economic diversity, and currently is the team leader of tenth grade Pre-AP English II at The Woodlands High School in Conroe ISD.

Sarah’s classroom is a study in contrasts. She believes each of her students has the potential to grow as readers and writers and knows that she will have to differentiate for each of them since their paths to improve will be different. She knows that for students to improve in these areas, they need to read and write. A lot! And one of the most effective ways to make this happen in a classroom is to utilize choice in multiple ways. Sarah delicately balances choice in reading and writing alongside studies with whole-class texts and book clubs. Both whole group teacher-led lessons and one-on-one teaching occur in her classroom as she employs the workshop model to help students learn how to use transferable skills and use them in their own way with their own texts. If you walk into her class, you will see intense moments of focus and quiet, followed by bursts of energy and noise as students share and deepen their learning. All of these contrasts work together to push students towards even greater heights without fear of repercussions of failure because they know that they are constantly striving for improvement. Sarah is their teacher, but more importantly, she is their partner on the path to becoming a more literate student.