posted November 15, 2016 - written by Matthew Hahn, SOE Graduate Assistant
Sarah Priore believes that her interest in teaching began when she entered high school.
“Ever since I was young, I wanted to help people in some way. I loved working with my younger siblings on their homework and, by doing so, knew I was helping them achieve. I realized that teaching was the right path for me."
Priore's love for teaching and helping others didn’t stop with her siblings. Her interest in caring for others naturally transferred to the classroom and a ‘mentality of teaching’ made Priore a perfect fit for Buffalo State, where helping students receive a quality education and achieve their goals is central to the theory and practice taking place on and off campus. “One thing I love about my career is seeing students succeed and reach their goals. Having a career where you can impact students positively and help them grow is amazing,” says Priore.
At Buffalo State, there are plenty of opportunities for a teacher candidate to grow as an educator and enjoy new experiences. Priore took advantage of a chance to teach and study abroad in the Dominican Republic. It wasn’t just teaching in an overseas classroom that she felt was unforgettable and meaningful to her career, but also the opportunity to see a different culture and way of life.
“My last year of college, I was able to go abroad for several weeks to the Dominican Republic to teach English and help at 3 Mariposas Montessori school. This program changed my perspective on a lot of things in life. It was an eye-opening experience that I will never forget."
Several campus classes also contributed to, and shaped, how Priore teaches. To Priore, what was most important was experience. “Any course that had a placement was extremely helpful. I was able to go into so many different schools and see different methods and ways of teaching. I not only spent time in public schools, but also private and Montessori school settings. Experience is everything when learning how to become a teacher,” she says.
It seems that nearly all students have a favorite teacher or mentor who inspired them at some point in the course of their learning. Certainly the faculty and staff at Buffalo State drive students to their best potential, and there were many who motivated Priore during her journey.
“If it wasn’t for great professors, I wouldn’t have taken the chances I did to get to where I am today. There were plenty of teachers who encouraged me throughout my years on campus – Sherri Weber, Wendy McLeish, Carla Longo – they all inspired me in some way.”
Looking to the future, Priore says that she has an interest in becoming a professor of elementary education. This interest mainly stems from her own experiences with instructors at Buffalo State. “There were so many professors that I had the opportunity to work with and they had a great impact on who I am today. They showed me so many wonderful teaching methods and taught me so much. I one day want to be able to impact future teachers as well!”
Teachers base their successes on a variety of individual reasons, often contributing their success to personal attitude, vigilance or passion for the profession. Priore has her own thoughts on what it takes to succeed in teaching, and life in general:
“Dedication. Everyday you need to come to work ready to teach and do the best you can. You need to work hard and focus on how to make the day better. As a young teacher, I believe I have been successful by being organized and asking questions. I also love what I do! You won’t be a successful teacher if you don’t love teaching.”
Priore has additional advice for aspiring teachers. She says, “Never give up. At times, teaching may seem very hard or overwhelming, but at the end of the day, you are making a difference in children’s lives. Also, never stop learning. Throughout college, professors tell you that teachers are ‘life learners’. It is 100% true! The world is changing everyday, and it is a teacher’s job to keep up with it!”
Based on her experiences at Buffalo State, in the Dominican Republic, the inspiration she received from her field experiences, and the professors who kept her working toward her dream, Priore has become a professional working in the field that she has always felt suited her.
“Because of Buffalo State, I am a successful teacher!”