Ms. Alia Russo
This year’s 2018 “UVM Outstanding Teacher Award,” goes to Sarah Malcolm, a science teacher at CVU. Every year, Vermont offers awards to teachers to highlight their notable teaching skills recognized by other staff members and students around the school.
Malcolm has been teaching science for 14 years at CVU, and first started teaching in Massachusetts. What got her into teaching was coaching field hockey while she was injured playing field hockey. She liked working with high school students and fell in love with the idea of helping kids and being a mentor for them. “I really liked science and a bunch of other subjects, but primarily I loved science and working hands on with some math and vocabulary, and there’s a lot of skills embedded in science, and I liked putting all them together,” said Malcolm.
Malcolm both coached and taught here at CVU, and at prior schools for the first half of her teaching career. She then stopped coaching once her children got older, but continued to bring her teaching skills to the classroom everyday.
Malcolm loves many things about being a teacher. What she loves most of all is spending time with her students. “One thing I love is the environment that gets established in a classroom after some time. I also love the team aspect that occurs and that students find ways to collaborate together. I love seeing them pushed to as far as they can go,” said Malcolm. She never fails to keep students awake and alert during class with her funny humor and remarks.
Malcolm has many strengths as a teacher. “Things that I feel very confident about is my establishing of relationships with students and them establishing relationships amongst each other within class. I feel very confident about the subjects that I teach and my understanding and knowledge of those subjects. I also love strategizing and planning for what we actually do in class and how we get there,” said Malcolm.
Although Malcolm has many strengths, every teacher has some things they could work on. “I think that over time, time has become an issue, and so I’m really into systems and being super efficient. It’s been very hard to differentiate pace in class and that’s something that I’ve been working on to do better with lack of time. I also think there’s a lot of different ways to communicate and I’m not doing all of them well so that’s an area that I’d love to improve on as well,” said Malcolm.
Being a science teacher, Malcolm loves things a certain way and values being organized with her students’ work. She also values knowing what the class needs to work on in order to get better and understand the content she’s teaching. Malcolm has some areas with teaching she could improve on, but she continues to show CVU her outstanding teaching skills.
Malcolm enjoys teaching at CVU and is very appreciative of what CVU has to offer. “I really like the people at CVU. I love the students and faculty here. I think we have an excellent faculty and staff. I like collaborating with my colleagues and having the opportunity to be creative, and I think there’s a lot of things you can try here that you can’t at other schools,” said Malcolm. Malcolm also loves being able to express herself in class with her students. She feels very comfortable being herself which is something she values. “It’s been a very good fit for me and I’ve enjoyed my fourteen years here,” said Malcolm.
Malcolm is a very well rounded teacher who inspires students to work their best every day. She knows exactly how to create the perfect learning environment that keeps students engaged and excited to learn, which is a very hard skill for teachers to achieve.