Elementary Science Teacher
San Marcos, TX
As a child, Sara Torres grew up in South Texas and attended a segregated school. This school had two classes in each grade level, the smart class and the “other” class. She was in the “other” class all through elementary school. Interestingly by the time students reached high school, 4 out of the 7 students in the highest math class that school offered were from the “other” class. Early on she learned that conditions impact the outcome of schooling, but they do not need to determine them.
The last 15 years she has taught in the San Marcos CISD as a bilingual teacher, gifted and talented facilitator and currently is a STEM teacher at Travis Elementary. She is passionate about public school education! She entrusted her four biological children to public schools. She worked to learn new instruction to benefit students. This passion has moved her to action and initiated partnerships with Texas State University Professors to implement physics labs, non-bias science fairs, after school clubs and engineering opportunities for local students and families. This partnership recently secured a NASA grant that works to implement Engineering concepts to all students in the district with a focus on Aerospace Engineering home extension activities; this work will continue in the summer through a close relationship with Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos a community center dedicated to support families and share the Hispanic cultural wealth with everyone in the community.
She is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and earned her Master’s of Education in Leadership at Texas State University in May. She understands that administrative leaders looking for the quick fix by pursuing perfect programs has been a futile attempt to improve schools. She believes barriers are much more complicated than choosing the right program. Issues of health, economic language and curricular realignment are needed to transform public schools. She understands that these topics of discussion in educational settings are critical. She believes in order to make education better it will take many conversations and forming partnerships between public schools, universities, and community assets. Her goals and aspirations are to continue education through the doctoral program at Texas State University.
In her spare time, she plays the flute with her Church choir, attends Bible classes and cheers her children on at cross-country competitions.
Why do you teach?
I believe that our vocation as human beings is to remain hopeful and that we can improve public education. Too many times the answer to improve education is to open a new Academy or Private School. This solution only addresses the privileged. Public schools are the only way to change the world we live in because Public schools educate every child. Our youth need to be inspired that THEY can make a difference and I am the person to convince them of that fact.
What do you love about teaching?
I love building relationships with students, families, and community members. Teaching isn’t about transferring information to students. It’s about what we learn from each other. Being a witness to students developing skills in collaboration, communication, and empathy of others is very gratifying. Every child deserves to achieve their greatness and has the right to have an advocate in his or her corner.
Was there a great teacher who inspired you?
A year ago, I met Dr. Miguel Guajardo, professor at Texas State University. He has taught me that a cup of coffee and a great conversation can change the world. His ability to help people develop educational awareness, autonomy, and their critical consciousness has inspired me to continue on this path of giving those around me an opportunity to be successful in their aspirations.